Intl agri expansion boosts tech upgrade
Lovol Heavy Industry Co Ltd is reaping the harvest of its bold expansion abroad and enormous spending on technological innovation.
In 2014, the leading Chinese farm machinery manufacturer, headquartered in Shandong province in East China, acquired Arbos, a century-old Italian agricultural brand.
The move came just three years after its overseas research and development center was founded in Bologna, Italy in 2011, reportedly the first of its kind in China’s farm machinery sector.
Following its first overseas acquisition, Lovol acquired another two Italian agromachinery manufacturers — MaterMacc and Goldoni — within two years.
To date, Lovol has more than 400 European staff members and 300,000 square meters of production facilities.
The company launched a new tractor series in 2015. Representatives from 23 European media outlets selected its Arbos 5130 for the silver prize in the Tractor of the Year contest, under the category of “best utility”. It was the first international award given to a Chinese agro-machinery manufacturer.
At this year’s contest, the company’s Goldoni tractor model was awarded silver prize in t he “best specialized” category.
The company links this eye-catching performance to its continuous efforts in leveraging its global innovation resources and increasing R&D expenditure.
Its total R&D expenditure surpassed 3 billion yuan percent
of Lovol’s exports are shipped to countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative
($434.8 million) in recent years, with 3 to 5 percent of its annual sales revenue spent on technological research.
The company founded an engineering and mechanical R&D center in Japan, seeking technological breakthroughs in key fields such as hydraulic pressure and electrical controls.
As a keen campaigner for the Belt and Road Initiative, a regional cooperation strategy proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, Lovol reported that shipments to the countries and regions along the traditional trade ro u t e s h av e co n t r i b u t e d more than half of its total exports.
The Belt and Road Initiative has facilitated Lovol’s technological upgrade and overseas expansion, said its Chairman and General Manager Wang Guimin.
“It has helped us to get into the global machinery manufacturing arena,” Wang said.
While Lovol is gaining growing recognition in the international market, it has al s o br o u g h t th e aw ar d - winning technologies back to its home turf in a bid to promote China’s agricultural modernization and improve the domestic manufacturing sector along the whole value chain, according to the company.