DOMESTIC FIRMS CATCHING UP WITH FOREIGN PEERS
The elevator and escalator industry has been one of the sectors in China where foreign companies have been the dominant players. But that lead may soon disappear as Chinese companies are fast catching up with their foreign peers, both in products and technology, industry sources said.
Li Shoulin, president of the China ElevatorAssociation, said that though global firms account for the lion’s share in China’s elevator market, domestic brands have been steadily improving their market share.
“Domestic firms account for about 40 percent of the market now, compared with 10 percent a decade ago. If original equipment manufacturing is also included, then the share of the domestic firms will rise to more than 50 percent,” he said.
Thanks to China’s rapid economic growth and growing demand for construction projects, the nation has becomethe world’s largest manufacturer and seller of elevators, with an average annual growth rate of 20 percent over the past decade, according to the association.
In 2013, China produced more than 633,000 elevators, up about 20 percent year-on-year, it said.
In the sameperiod, the export volume rose by 35 Otis is like watering a bamboo plant,” he said.
“Till the shoots come up, you will not see anything happening. But underneath the ground the bamboo has percent to 65,968 elevators, with SouthKorea, Malaysia and Indonesia being the leading export destinations.
“The huge demand has helped boost the development of domestic producers in terms of both technologies and brand image,” Li said. “This in turn has strengthened their confidence in competing with foreign brands.”
ZhuRuihua, director of the operations center at Guangdong-based Canny ElevatorCo Ltd, said his company is focusing more on innovation and expanding product portfolio.
“The brand recognition in the international market has given us an edge in domestic orders aswell,” he said.
“Many real estate companies, who are very sensitive about cost, prefer domestic brands especially as the property sector is reeling fromtighter policies.”
Somedomestic elevator makers are also accelerating the pace of overseas expansion.
IFE ElevatorCo, one of China’s largest elevator manufacturers, said it plans to set up a plant in South America this year, with its focus being Brazil. The company has already invested about $500,000 for a wholly owned branch inDubai and another in Jakarta. already developed a massive roots system. We have been in China for 30 years, building a big foundation. And now we are seeing the growth.”