Caterpillar debuts new equipment in China, demonstrates growing importance of market
Manufacturing giant Caterpillar chose this year's Beijing International Construction Machinery Exhibition and Seminar for a world premiere of three new models of hydraulic excavators on Wednesday.
It was the first time that the multinational launched a worldwide debut in China, signaling a stronger emphasis on this ever-increasing market.
Chen Qihua, the company's China chairman, said at a news conference: "In the next two to three years, the country's construction machinery industry will continue to grow at a steady pace."
The introduction of three new types of excavators will just meet the market's growing demand, said Chen.
Such "digital-driven" equipment, according to Chen, would help customers increase construction efficiency by up to 45 percent, save fuel by 20 percent and reduce maintenance costs by 15 percent.
After a nearly five-year recession China's construction machinery sector began to recover in its business cycle last September.
Take excavators for example. The country's major construction machinery makers sold 91,000 units between January and August, up 101 percent from last year, reported the excavator branch of the China Construction Machinery Association.
Ma Song, an analyst at Guolian Securities Co Ltd, said sales of the sector would maintain rapid growth in the fourth quarter, which is considered to be the peak season to begin construction. "Meanwhile, the sector's rising price will likely enhance profitability."
In February, Caterpillar made new investment in its Chinese unit based in Jiangsu province to equip the local mini-excavator base with increased capacity.
Last year, the company announced its digital technology strategy, which aims to give full play of its connected technologies and services to help reduce costs, and enhance efficiency.
Approximately 500,000 of the company's more than 3 million machines and engines in service around the world have become connected with each other, it said.
To further drive profitable growth for customers and dealers, the company was expanding the offering of utility brand solutions over the last several years, said Frederic Istas, vice-president of its earthmoving division, at the news conference.
"Caterpillar was also developing new financial solutions for customers operating in emerging markets", Istas added.
Due to the quiet market in the past five years, construction machinery manufacturers with mediocre returns and short track records gradually closed down.
The number of excavator producers operating in China was reported to decline from 100 to 20 during the period.
The phasing out of inefficient companies could ensure the sustainable development of the industry, Chen Qihua said.
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