Business / Motoring

Victory Day parade helps Zhejiang CFMoto grow

By Cai Xiao (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-14 10:14

Victory Day parade helps Zhejiang CFMoto grow

Security personnel ride the escort motorcyles made by Zhejiang CFMoto Power Co Ltd at the Victory Day parade in Beijing.[Photo/Xinhua]

One of the abiding memories of the Victory Day parade on Sept 3 last year in Beijing was the spectacular guard of honor by security personnel mounted on 45 gleaming, powerful, white-and-red motorcyles.

The CF650G, which was designated as the official escort motorcycle for World War-II veterans, is among a range of two- and four-wheeled power sports vehicles produced by Zhejiang CFMoto Power Co Ltd, a Hangzhou-based manufacturer.

The company already accounts for more than 50 percent share of the Russia market for power sports vehicles. Now, it is setting its sights on potentially big markets in China and the United States.

It is upgrading its technology and innovating to develop high-quality motor vehicles for prospective Chinese and American customers for whom adrenaline-fuelled sports and entertainment mean the same thing.

"The growing middle-class consumers in China and the US have a strong demand for such vehicles. They will be our focus in the coming years," said Lai Guogui, chairman of Zhejiang CFMoto.

Lai said the company's operations in Russia have reached a mature stage, but its market shares in China and the US are still small. This, he said, gives Zhejiang CFMoto the opportunity to explore these big markets.

Lai said last year's parade has made the company famous worldwide. More than 1,000 units of the CF650G model have been sold since.

"In the US, we have 1 percent market share and we hope to boost the figure to 5 percent in three to five years," said Lai.

Efforts to prepare Zhejiang CFMoto for the future started in 2008. That's when it started to transform its business strategy, upgrade its technology, enhance its brand equity and expand its product portfolio to include four-wheeled power sports vehicles and yachts.

The efforts boosted the company's revenues progressively over the years to reach 1.3 billion yuan ($201.2 million) in 2015, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent over the past four years.

Its 2015 profit was more than 100 million yuan, the 2012-15 CAGR being about 20 percent.

"CFMoto has stepped ahead of most other motorcycle companies in terms of product innovation," said Li Bin, chairman of the Motorcycles Division of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Gao Qing, vice general manager of Zhejiang CFMoto, said the company is giving finishing touches to its e-commerce platform, which will likely be launched later this year.

The company is also exploring tie-ups with financial institutions to offer consumer-friendly loans to customers and dealers of power sports vehicles.

Gao said Zhejiang CFMoto already has 185 dealers in China. Their number will surpass 200 by this year-end.

Li had complimented the efforts of domestic motorcycle companies such as Zhejiang CFMoto to upgrade and expand their product lines.

He bemoaned that more than 200 cities in China restrict use of motorcycles due to a variety of reasons like traffic congestion, road safety, air and noise pollution. Some cities even have quotas that limit licenses for motorcycles.

Li called for lifting the ban on motorcycles, but urged companies to explore alternative ways to explore the China market.

Wang Chao contributed to this story.

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