Speaking at the company’s international press conference at Bauma China in Shanghai, Volvo Construction Equipment’s president and chief executive Olof Persson highlighted a package of initiatives that is destined to expand the company’s operations and increase its customer base in Asia.
“Volvo is committed to supporting our capacity and product offering in China and throughout Asia,” said Mr. Persson. “We will achieve this by a comprehensive programme of investments in our Asian industrial operations, a strengthening of our dealer network and an expansion of Volvo and SDLG branded products that are more closely tailored to the specific needs of customers in this region.”
Volvo Construction Equipment has maintained a heavy investment commitment throughout the economic downturn in the industry. For China alone, recent announcements have included the creation of a $30 million Volvo Technology Center in Jinan and a $50 million expansion of the company’s Linyi facility. This comes on top of the $30 million investments made in the Volvo excavator facility in Shanghai since 2003. Volvo has also introduced a four model range of China-specific excavators – made and marketed by Volvo’s joint venture partner in China, Lingong, under the SDLG brand. These initiatives are joined by further BRIC-focused activities, including a $20 million injection into Volvo’s Bangalore factory to build excavators for the Indian market, a significant expansion of its Russian distribution and a strengthening of market share throughout South America, especially Brazil.
Recognising and meeting customer needs
“Our business in Asia has doubled this year alone,” said Mr. Persson. “We must recognize that the needs of these markets differ from those of Europe and North America. While customers in BRIC markets will continue to need premium global products offering increased performance and productivity, there is a large proportion of customers who require reliable, competitive equipment. The Volvo brand will continue to support its established premium customer segments, while the SDLG brand will serve the larger mass market.
“Volvo is well positioned, both in China and the rest of Asia, to capitalize on the huge market opportunity and growth potential,” concluded Mr. Persson. “Our dual brand approach offers a unique advantage to meet the needs of a much wider customer base. We will support this approach with products dedicated to this market, using local Chinese knowledge and leveraging an expanded Asian manufacturing footprint.”