Over the years, the Southern African dozer market has been such a competitive turf with most premium makers jostling for a share of the seemingly lucrative market.
In 2007 Chinese construction equipment manufacturer, Shantui, entered the fray with its range of dozers to challenge the dominance of premium makers such as Caterpillar, Komatsu and Liebherr, to mention a few.
Barely known to local equipment users at the time, Shantui already boasted an impressive share of the Chinese dozer market before coming to local shored. Shantui is a subsidiary of Shandong Heavy Industry with their core product being bulldozers. The last few years however has seen the company expanding beyond reliance on a single product line through an aggressive acquisition strategy.
Today the company is known as the bulldozer king in China, “holding 60% share of the domestic Chinese dozer market,” according to David Gao, Chief Operating Officer at Ever Star Industries, the authorised dealer for the Shantui range of construction equipment in South Africa.
While South Africa remains the biggest dozer market in the region, Gao says Shantui has made strong inroads into the rest of Southern Africa where several of its units are operating in the countries such as Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, with well over 1500 units operating in the field.
One of their key competitive advantages is that Shantui plays in the value sector of the market, and few other competitors in this market category share a similar focus. Say Gao, Shantui’s dozer offerings are reliable, basic pieces of equipment that come with no extra “bells and whistles” often found in the premium makers’ products.
The simplicity of approach meets the needs of the upcoming construction contracting fraternity, as well as smaller and medium miners, and these market segments remain the lucrative and targeted customer base for Shantui. “Obviously, our biggest benefit to this group of customer is our price advantage,” says Gao. “Because we offer a simple product that comes with no expensive and sophisticated features, we are able to sell our dozers at a significantly lesser price compared with the premium OEM’s.”
Another key competitive edge of the Shantui dozer range is the quality of the machine which Gao says is based on the critical components from renowned manufacturers such as Komatsu and Cummins. He reasons that the simplicity of the product not only translates into ease of maintenance, but also means it can be serviced at customer level, timeously.
Shantui offers an extended dozer range to the Southern African market with over 10 available models for customers in the region and various other construction equipment to suit market needs.
Looking ahead, Gao is positive and says that “Shantui can only grow from strength to strength each year”. He is upbeat about the prospects of improved unit sales into the mining industry.
Written By: Capital Equipment News.