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Zhengzhou Yutong buses on 'steady' road to success

Updated: 2012-03-12 13:44
By Liu Xiangrui and Yang Bo in Zhengzhou ( China Daily)

Zhengzhou Yutong buses on 'steady' road to success

School buses made by Yutong on display at the first China International School Bus Exhibition on Feb 15 in Beijing.

Products by leading Chinese bus manufacturer Yutong were among those making premieres at the first China International School Bus Exhibition held recently in Beijing.

In the wake of a spate of deadly school bus accidents, school bus safety has been at the forefront of the national consciousness.

Yutong's buses, noted for their "long-nose" design, have already become known throughout China after the company's decades of operation. Much like their counterparts in the United States, the company's buses have a chassis that protrudes forward from the carriage and extends over the wheels - a design that some argue improves safety.

Headquartered in Zhengzhou, Henan province, Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co Ltd is a large industrial group specializing in bus manufacturing. It is among China's top 500 enterprises.

Yutong Bus, the group's core enterprise, was established in 1963. It was reorganized and given its current name in 1993. In 1997, it became the first bus manufacturer in China to be listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

It is not only an industry leader within China but has also become the biggest bus manufacturer worldwide.

Its latest annual report showed that more than 46,000 buses and coaches were delivered in 2011, an increase of 13.4 percent over the year previous, as the company's revenues hit 25.85 billion yuan ($4.1 billion), an increase of 24.1 percent .

Quality highlighted

"Yutong has adopted a strategy of steady development rather than blindly pursuing speed and scale," said Wang Feng, vice-president of Yutong Bus.

Wang said that the company has long been dedicated to the establishment of its brand by consistently making quality products.

The company is known as a pioneer in the development of school buses. It began to manufacture the "long-nose" school buses in 2008. The products went on the market in 2010, and the company now receives around 1,000 orders monthly.

Its current production facility, the Zhengzhou Yutong Industrial Park, covers an area of 1.12 million square meters and has a daily capacity of more than 170 buses. It has developed into the world's largest and the most technically advanced manufacturing base for large and medium-sized buses.

With a promising future market ahead, Yutong is eyeing expansion. Construction of a new production site kicked off in July 2011.

The new project was also a major bid for the development of fuel-efficient and new-energy vehicles.

With an investment of 2.4 billion yuan, it has more funding than any new-energy vehicle facility in China.

It is expected to handle an additional annual production capacity of 10,000 fuel-efficient or new-energy buses when it is put to use.

"Yutong has already made a breakthrough in the new-energy vehicle project. We have become the bus maker with the highest sales volume and largest sales area of new-energy buses," Wang said.

Advanced technology is another trump card for Yutong, which launched an intelligent bus system earlier last year.

"Our target is to become a top burgeoning industrial group in the business of commercial vehicles," Wang said. "We will strive to become a mainstream global bus provider with quality, tailor-made products."

Look to int'l market

Wang said that Yutong has become the first choice for bus buyers in many countries.

Since it entered the international market in 2003, Yutong Group has exported tens of thousands of buses to more than 70 countries and regions.

Its position as a world-level bus maker has been acknowledged, and Yutong was named Bus-Builder of the Year Worldwide 2012 in October by the international industry league Busworld BAAV.

"As one of the golden markets globally, Europe will be an important export destination for Yutong in the future," said Wang. "But we will not do it hastily. The quality of our products is more important than the export amount."

He said the European markets are quite mature and have their own traits, and their strategy continues to be "seeking speed while ensuring steadiness".