Construction equipment: Digging for victory

Coming soon to a building site near you

UNTIL now it has been widely assumed that construction equipment made by Chinese companies, and even equipment made in China by the leading foreign firms, was inferior in both quality and technology to gear produced in the foreign firms’ factories back home. These assumptions have been crushed by a new study from CLSA, a broker, which tested a range of Chinese-made diggers, and found them to be sturdy and high-performing. Leading Chinese brands like Sany, Zoomlion and LiuGong, whose products also have the advantage of being cheap, will soon be invading building sites across the globe.Things have changed drastically since the global financial crisis five years ago. Until then, around 90% of the diggers on Chinese building sites were foreign-branded, albeit often made inside the country. The government’s huge fiscal stimulus, in 2008-09, triggered a construction boom which encouraged existing Chinese makers to expand, and dozens of new firms to enter the market. The local firms lacked the technical know-how of Japan’s Hitachi and the extensive product range of America’s Caterpillar. But they offered…

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