Weichai, Shengrui blaze trail for industry

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-06-09


A technician assembles hydraulic equipment at Linde Hydraulics China's factory in the Weifang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone. Photos Provided To China Daily

The two leaders' superior products are setting standards around the world and bringing the manufacturing process and profits home, Tang Zhihao reports.

Leading companies in the Weifang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone are pushing up technology and product renewal in support of the local manufacturing industry's upgrade and transformation.

Weichai Group, one of the leading diesel engine developers in China, reported 50 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) in sales in the first quarter of 2017, up 86.4 percent year-on-year. Its net profit increased 126.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

The demand for Weichai's products is so high that clients have to wait for days to get the final products.

"The country's economic situation is steadying and improving, while rules curbing overload trucks get stricter, both helping the market to get warmer," said Zhang Quan, CEO of Weichai Power, a subsidiary of Weichai Group.

The company said product innovation is a key element of its growth.

Zhang said the country's policy change has helped to increase the demand for engines with 500 horsepower in the heavy truck industry. Weichai foresaw the upcoming business opportunities, and developed and reserved such products two years ago.

Li Shaohua, vice-president of Weichai Power, said that the company experienced a drop in sales in 2014 and 2015 due to the economic slowdown, which put pressure on the company to adjust its development and structure.

The company introduced one of the first 13-liter-class engines in China in 2015 and successfully led the Chinese heavy truck industry's increase in power.

At the end of 2016, the company developed engines and components for large mining trucks with China Shenhua Group, a leading State-owned energy company, to expand its product portfolio.

"Manufacturing enterprises can have a future only if they improve innovation capacity and product quality," said Li. "If you don't have the core technologies, then the big part of the profits will be taken away by others."

Weichai is not the only business in the high-tech zone paying attention to product innovation.

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