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Foton Lovol: Miraculous development over 10 years

Wang Jinfu, chairman of farming machinery company Foton Lovol based in Weifang, Shandong province, said his ambition is to build the company into a heavyweight in the global industry.

If he had said that 10 years ago when the company was founded people would have likely laughed - it had only a small factory with about 100 employees and 20 million yuan in fixed assets.

Yet it was no joke. In 10 years its total assets increased to 10 billion yuan, sales revenue registered 500-fold growth and its products are now exported to more than 100 countries and regions.

"Foton Lovol International Heavy Industries Co Ltd is now leading the domestic farming machinery industry and becoming recognized by the world," Wang said proudly.

In contrast to slow growth in the nation`s exports of heavy machinery this year, the company realized all-time high exports of about 15,000 machines worth of $210 million in the first nine months, doubling the value of the same period last year. The export volume of the whole year is expected to reach 21,000 units.

Developing from that small factory making simple farming equipment, the company now has 10,000 workers and produces 577 kinds of products ranging from farming equipment to construction machinery and vehicles.

Lovol Gushen combine harvesters and Lovol Europard tractors are the two top brands in domestic industry.

Along with rapid growth in farming equipment, the company has expanded into construction machinery and vehicles. Its loader business started in 2004 and saw sales of 3,000 units the first year and made a breakthrough to sell 7,000 loaders in 2007, of which about 2,000 were sold overseas.

The first Lovol excavator rolled off the production line in 2006 and developed briskly to sell 1,600 units in the first 10 months of this year, an increase of 217.8 percent over the same period last year.

Foton Lovol`s cranes entered the international market in 2007.

According to Wang, Foton Lovol has had average yearly increase in revenue of 50 percent in the past 10 years. More than 3 million units of its various products have been sold on the domestic market.

In June this year, World Brand Lab, one of the top-three brand evaluation agencies in the world, valued the Lovol brand at 7 billion yuan, ranking the company the No 1 in China`s farm equipment industry and third in the construction machinery industry.

On October 21, Foton Lovol held an international business conference in Weifang that attracted more than 400 representatives of overseas dealers from more than 100 countries and regions.

"Foreign friends are not here for sightseeing but seeking cooperation with Foton Lovol," Wang said.

Wang said deals for export of 30,000 Lovol machines were signed on the site, indicating the total export volume next year is expected to increase by 30 percent over 2008.

In spite of the current global economic recession, the company`s sales have shown strong momentum in the international market.

"New products make Foton Lovol more competitive and boost our overseas sales. We are developing into a famous brand in the world`s farming equipment industry," Wang noted.

Innovation powers growth

While Foton Lovol surpassed domestic counterparts in 10 years, the company is planning to emulate international players to be one of the most competitive enterprises in global farming equipment industry based on its strong innovation capacity.

Capitalizing on its independent innovation system and cooperating with internationally renowned enterprises and institutions, the company developed the 265-horsepower Lovol Europard TN2654 Tractor, the most powerful made in Asia, using its own independent intellectual property.

The new product puts an end to China`s full dependency on imports of tractors in the above 200 horsepower range.

The first of the model rolled off the production line in August and are now sold overseas in great numbers.

The full range of Lovol Europard tractors, from 75 to 265 horsepower, help the company compete with the renowned global brands in the high-end tractor market.

Foton Lovol also established an engineering technology research institute that is recognized as a key State-level corporate technical center.

In the field of construction machinery, its self-developed 1,250-ton crawler crane truck also leads the domestic market.

Globalization strategy

Going global is also an important strategy for Foton Lovol. The company has developed various farming machinery products to meet the need of clients in different countries.

To date, Foton Lovol products are sold to 112 countries and regions. In 2007 the company exported more than 10,000 Europard tractors, a 70-fold increase from the 150 units in 2002.

The company is ranked first in the nation in the exports of tractors, second in harvesters and third in loaders.

Foton Lovol has an established reputation in Russia, the Middle East and South Africa.

According to the Embassy of South Africa in China, Foton Lovol now has a 10 percent market share in the country.

At present, 180 overseas dealers and 45 Chinese foreign trade companies are helping Foton Lovol sell its products in overseas regions.

A recent development is that 20 companies signed agreements with Foton Lovol in October to become its exclusive overseas dealers.

With the help of the overseas dealers, the company is starting to build a global after-sales service network. More than 100 technical personnel have now been sent to major overseas markets to supply technical services.

"We are aiming to build Foton Lovol into an influential brand and a first-class enterprise in the world," Wang said.

According to the company`s development plan, Foton Lovol is expected to become an important manufacturer of farming and construction machinery in the world by 2010 with a sales revenue of 36 billion yuan.

 

Foreign businesspeople visit the loader

 

tractor production facilities at Foton Lovol International Heavy Industries Co Ltd. Ju Chuanjiang

 
Date:2008-12-9 7:45:00     
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