NEWEST & BRIGHTEST: XCMG breaks ‘foreign monopoly’ of big ATs

Estimates vary, but China accounts for around half of the world’s mobile crane production. Most of those are small truck cranes and truck loading cranes – all under 20-tonne capacity and built for the domestic market only.The Chinese industry, led by big players such as XCMG, Sany and Zoomlion, now wants to compete head-to-head with the likes of Liebherr, Manitowoc/Grove and Terex in the relatively small but lucrative market for all terrains and crawlers over 300t.Of course, there is also more than a small amount of pride and prestige involved for the Chinese in cracking the high end of the market.XCMG, China’s biggest crane manufacturer and exporter, has made inroads into Australia with its 25t, 35t, 50t and 65t truck cranes – mainly thanks to the commitment of the local importer to getting the machines right.XCMG also builds a range of all terrains and launched its biggest yet, a 500-tonner, at Bauma China. Our spies tell us the new QAY500 is a solid, well-built crane that bears more than a passing resemblance to a Liebherr.XCMG also launched the 400t QAY400 all terrain at Bauma China. According to the China Daily, XCMG says the cranes have “broken the foreign monopoly in the high-end crane sector”.Australia will not be seeing any of these big all terrains in the near future, as the Chinese infrastructure development sector, which is still humming along very nicely, is expected to grab all that XCMG can build. One factor likely to reduce the cranes’ overseas appeal is that they do not have a major price advantage over the established makes – and Western buyers still expect to pay a lot less for Chinese product. XCMG also showed a 650t crawler crane – imaginatively dubbed the QUY650 – at Bauma China, but was trumped by Sany’s SCC 10000, which with 1000t capacity is the largest Chinese crawler yet.The first SCC 10000 has already been sold to a Chinese buyer. Other big crawlers on show were a 500t Fushun and a 280t Zoomlion.

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