Business / Companies

CRRC seeks more US rail deals after landing Chicago order

By Du Xiaoying (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-13 07:49

CRRC seeks more US rail deals after landing Chicago order

High-speed locomotives maker China Railway Rolling Stock Corp is eying contracts in more cities in the United States, including New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, after winning a $1.3 billion railcar deal in Chicago last month.

"New York is the most dynamic city in the world. It would be even better if the city's subway replaces its trains with CRRC's ones, like Boston and Chicago," said Yu Weiping, vice-president of CRRC, in New York on Monday.

CRRC is also bidding for a subway project in Los Angeles and a double-deck train contract in Philadelphia, Yu was quoted as saying by Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Chicago Transit Authority last month ordered 846 railcars from CSR Sifang America, a unit of CRRC, its second US deal in 18 months.

"The project is the largest track-vehicle purchase in the history of Chicago and China's largest subway train export to the developed countries," Yu said, adding that the products made by CRRC have been approved by the United States on aspects of technology and quality.

According to CRRC, international sales in 2015 rose 66.9 percent year-on-year, with a gross revenue of 26.57 billion yuan ($4.113 billion).

Last year, CRRC started several high-speed train projects, including China-Laos, China-Thailand, Hungary-Serbia, Russia, Jakarta-Bandung in Indonesia and the Pacific-Atlantic Railway.

Yu said the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Serbia have also placed orders with CRRC in the past two months and Philadelphia sent a bidding invitation last week.

Explaining the reasons of winning bids overseas, Yu said its products have advantages on technology, quality, price, delivery, service, performance and social responsibility.

Last year, two trainmakers CSR Corp and China CNR Corp were merged to form CRRC to better compete with Germany's Siemens AG and France's Alstom SA.

China, home to the world's biggest high-speed rail network, has identified the sector as one of 10 focus industries in a blueprint for economic development.

A $567 million Boston deal that CNR won before the merger in 2014 was China's first major rail contract in North America. Its proposal was 50 percent cheaper than the Canadian giant Bombardier Inc's bid.

While CRRC is still committed to double its overseas sales to as much as $15 billion by 2020, it is also feeling the headwinds as the global economy weakens, Yu said.

"The world's rail-transport market is not as hot as in the past years, just like the global economy," said Yu. "Infrastructure construction needs money. The general demand is falling."

Zhou Mi, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that every country is working hard to improve their economic conditions through measures such as construction of infrastructure, which gives companies like CRRC business opportunities.

Zhou said expanding of equipment manufacturing overseas is China's goal and high-speed train fits into that strategy.

"China's companies should strengthen their advantages, the government should not take care of everything and let the market decide," he said.

Bloomberg contributed to this story.

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