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Southeast Asia serves as a link between the east and the west and is inextricably linked to China. On the ancient Maritime Silk Road, China's commodities such as porcelain and silk were shipped to all parts of world via Southeast Asia, thus promoting the development of the world history of civilization.
Yuchai moved into the charming land in the 1960s, bringing its engines and generating sets here. In the "golden decade", riding the wave of China's opening to and cooperation with ASEAN countries, Yuchai people made its green power resound through Southeast Asia's mountains, islands, forests, oceansIn the ASEAN, Yuchai sold 461 units in 2014 and is expected to sell 18,000 units in 2014, thus making a dramatic change out of nothing.
"The light is on" On a summer day of 2013, in a village near Beng Mealea Temple in Cambodia, when the light was on in ordinary farmers' homes, children's smiles were like sunshine!
This was the village's first access to electricity. When industrial civilization is making great strides today, the computer and the television have made their way into ordinary families, but some remote mountain villages remain isolated from the outside world. When the local government brought in Yuchai's generating sets, power changed their lives.
To faster move into the ASEAN market, Yuchai established an office in Vietnam in 1996 to serve customers in countries like Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. "Customer satisfaction is our top priority. Though the great number of orders is encouraging, it is far from satisfying us compared to customers' smiles," Tang Haidong, director of Yuchai Vietnam Office, said emotionally. Now the ASEAN including Vietnam has become Yuchai's largest overseas market. Every year, tens of thousands of Yuchai engines are installed on buses, trucks and generating sets exported to Vietnam. Yuchai has established good reputation locally.
With Vietnam as the center, Yuchai has constantly extended its territory in the ASEAN market--it has established offices in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar to expand its brand share in the market. Its products have gradually entered fields such as automobile, construction machinery, agricultural machinery, generating equipment and ship in ASEAN countries.
The inauguration of the China-ASEAN Expo in 2004 made Yuchai soar. After 10 years' elaborate operation, Yuchai's brand recognition has climbed gradually. To date, the number of Yuchai engines possessed in the ASEAN market has reached 92,247 units, accounting for 40 percent of the total number of Yuchai engines possessed abroad. Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines are ranked the top three and over 63,000 units are possessed in Vietnam alone.
Yuchai exported over 24,000 units of diesel engines in the first eight months of 2014 and its overseas sales this year are expected to exceed those in previous years, thus 2014 will see Yuchai register the largest exports in the recent decade. Sales in the ASEAN market roughly account for 60 percent of Yuchai's total overseas sales, showing its decisive role in Yuchai's overseas layout.
Challenge foreign models
Yuchai's developing the ASEAN market out of nothing was anything but smooth. To access the market, Yuchai must have adequate courage and confidence to challenge renowned Japanese, Korean, European and American brands in the market. Trade barriers are also resistance to Yuchai's expanding the market. In 2005, Yuchai exported only 3,000 diesel engines to ASEAN countries. Nevertheless, since Yuchai mapped out the strategy of "achieving a breakthrough in Southeast Asia" in 2008, especially after the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was built up in 2010, Yuchai's products have rapidly become popular in the ASEAN market with engine sales soaring in markets such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
On Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, the unprecedented shock given by Yuchai changed locals' long-held view of Chinese products. With a full length of over 3,000 kilometers and predominated by mountain roads, Sulawesi is the third-largest island and an island with the highest proportion of mountains in Indonesia. The people on the islands mainly depend on long-distance coaches for travel. In the past decades, most locals knew mainstream European and American coaches only. As the steep mountain roads have higher requirements for engines, locals considered 12m European and American coaches powered by 380hp engines as the only choice suiting local road conditions most. However, high vehicle prices led to high ticket fares which were beyond the ability of many passengers. In view of cost, there were few passengers.
New Liman on the island is the first company to attempt to introduce eight Chinese coaches powered by Yuchai YC6L engine, whose prices were less than half of European and American coaches'. The boss Salia who was ill at ease at first watched a trial run in the company of the staff of Yuchai Indonesia Office.
The results excited him unexpectedly: the drivers reported that these coaches could easily and fast climbed over steep slopes, not inferior to 380hp European and American coaches in terms of power performance; the result of fuel statistics showed a fuel consumption of 29L to 31L per 100 kilometers, far outperforming European and American engines' 36L to 37L; the eight coaches which had run for three days and two nights without a stop did not have any failure.
At the news, several public transport companies around Makarsa came to see these coaches and inquire about the test run. "Eddy, I learned that your engines are good," Lai Zedong, director of Yuchai Indonesia Office, got such calls all day.
Later New Liman decided to purchase 50 coaches more. The local government and bank offered strong support after learning about the situation. Cost-effective Chinese coaches substantially reduced operating cost and lowered ticket fares to facilitate locals' travel. This choice not only earned coach operators good investment return, but also gradually changed locals' travel frequency and living habits.
Yuchai's orderly development of the ASEAN market has constantly perfected its development in the market. Yuchai has conducted follow-up from market survey, product, parts to supporting service, thus forming a pattern of multi-dimension and in-depth market development; Yuchai's market structure has become more balanced so as to change the situation of excessive dependence on a certain market.
Fully march into the ASEAN
Reviewing Yuchai's experience of operating in the ASEAN market over the past decade, Liang Bing, vice general manager of the Overseas Department of Yuchai, said emotionally: as ASEAN countries differ vastly in various aspects, enterprises must conduct elaborate surveys in fields including politics, economy, culture and religion in order to access the ASEAN market. In this way, Yuchai can customize products to satisfy customers to the utmost.
Customers are most concerned about product quality and service. Besides brand marketing planning, service is Yuchai's another important means of winning over customers and developing the market. To better serve ASEAN customers, Yuchai will continue to step up work on customer network, market environment network, distribution network and service network. In terms of service quality, Yuchai will strictly assess service agents' qualifications in such aspects as workplace, equipment and service capacity, export standards, effectively combine "Yuchai style" with "localization", build its service brand and consolidate the international competitiveness of its products. In terms of the structure of exported products, in the next period, Yuchai will rationally adjust the proportion of engines exported with vehicles to self-exported engines according to product features, tap and cultivate overseas OEM markets, promote the efficient interaction between domestic and overseas offices, and drive engine export with vehicles so as to improve the overall level of operation in overseas markets.
With the further deepening of China's opening to and cooperation the ASEAN countries, Yuchai's markets will be broader. In the first eight months of this year, the Vietnamese market showed a strong growth momentum. Tang said, "Yuchai Vietnam Office will actively grasp the two countries' changes in government policies and market demands, accelerate the development of local OEM plant resources and intensify sharing of market information of domestic vehicle plants, so as to jointly drive the market, promote vehicle export with Yuchai engines, and make the segments of engineering vehicle, road vehicle, coach and ship prosper in Vietnam.
(Song Yonggeng/Yang Mingze/Guangxi Daily)