President of Dietrich Carebus Group (DCG)
1: What aspects do the European customers care about while purchasing buses?
Today in France and in the Western Europe, the bus & coach market could be defined as mature. They are also markets in full economic and environmental evolution.
The western customers are also exigent customers. They know how to benefit from well installed brands with good reputation in our market.
The available vehicles, at least from the main brands, are with high quality, often extremely reliable, with a hard worked design and are able to fulfill the actual expectations of the customers.
So we are stepping in high competition markets where the notion of global quality, capacity of anticipating the new expectations, the view and also the services given to customers are becoming the main points to success in a long lasting implantation.
2: Why did you choose to cooperate with Yutong? Please tell us about the process how you chose Yutong as your partner.
Under our strategy of development in France and in the Western Europe, we were looking for a bus & coach brand who will share with us a true dynamic and who will be capable to offer us a real partnership for the future.
Our ambitions, accorded to the evolution in our markets, were to be able to bring to our customers products, a range and especially a brand and a cultural company capable to adapt to these new data and also capable of forecast with a strong capacity in R&D.
Thenceforth we established accurate specifications to guide our research (industrial capacity, investment capacity in R&D, experience in the coach market, product quality, listening capacity and review capacity facing to the market evolution, human quality, company vision, ambition in the European market...
These specifications have given us the opportunity to meet with different potential partners, with whom we could freely exchange our points of view and the ambitions of each other.
At the end of this first step, Yutong revealed itself obviously.
Apart from the strength and the experience, it was mainly the quality of the men and women we met who convinced us that it was possible to build a real shared future together.
3: What are the advantages and disadvantages of Yutong products compared with other European counterparts? How did you get customers to accept Yutong products?
No company whatever which one it is can imagine only to have advantages, and it is obviously the case for Yutong as for DCGroup.
More than a simple addition of strength and weaknesses, we are more interested by the capacity of the company to question itself and analyse his market, his position, his products, and his capacity to go over itself to face the future, his capacity to listen and to learn to build the future.
Of course, no one could be able to question the advantages of Yutong in terms of industrial capacity and R&D: the numbers are speaking for themselves. It’s simply the number one in the world.
Undisputed worldwide leader, today Yutong is perfectly capable to come over the Western European markets. Accompanied by a company like us in this step, it benefits from physical location, anteriority and history on the market, experience and above all knowledge of the culture and the special expectations from the European customers.
The main weak point of Yutong today is, mostly in the mind of the Europeans, that a Chinese company which makes Chinese products... Unfortunately the conventional ideas are strong and they must be taken into consideration. They know how to better face, fight against and prove that China and companies in this country are capable to offer anything other than the low quality products.
It is a matter of image that Yutong have to face, which is his biggest challenge. We need, at our modest step (because it is principally the goal that all the Chinese company have to aim...) to build an upgraded image of the Chinese products by enhancing the quality.
It is for sure a long-term work which requires important investment, a real "integration" strategy, influence and true constant actions. That in the future the Chinese products will be considered by their simple quality and not polluted by the received idea which is not corresponding with the reality of today. That in the future the Chinese companies will be accepted for their knowledge and their capacity to progress on the markets where they are interfered in.
We, Yutong and DCG, are particularly aware of it and will work together without any fail to reach this main target.
Tomorrow and at right title, the Chinese vehicles will be considered as a real true value in Europe, and at the same title as well as the best coaches from European brands.
4: Since there are big differences between the European standards & regulations and Chinese ones, how do you think the Yutong products need to be adapted in order to better meet the requirements of the European market?
The adaptation of the Yutong vehicles to the European standards is of course the key to the success for the brand in this part of the world. And it is all the strength of our "competence association": together be capable to, due to the industrial capacity and R&D of Yutong and the perfect knowledge of the market of DCGroup, bring the best solution, so that the Yutong vehicles will be not only adapted to the European standards but above all be capable to bring the plus and the best to our customers.
It is one more tile for all the benefit and the interest of our partnership.
5: How do you see the development trend of the European bus market? And what is your expectation on Yutong’s development in the European market in the future?
The French and European markets in terms of passenger transportation are since few years in a complete mutation. The rarity and the cost of the fossil energy, the recurrent economic difficulty, the ecological urgency... Everything is coming nowadays to a profound question how the government and our customers are seeing their job. To be adapted to these new data in short term is not only essential but it is also a question of life and death for the companies in this sector.
To keep on going with the old way of seeing the passenger transportation, is a waste, instead everything is changing around us. It is by the imagination that we will adapt ourselves to these new conditions.
And it is the Yutong power that takes all its meaning, industrial capacity, strength in R&D, advancement in the new energies... Everything is here for Yutong to approach the future serenely.
Being today in the Western European markets depends on, as we said above, the capacity of Yutong and DCG to impose a new view of the Chinese vehicles in our markets.
Being set up tomorrow and lasting in the Western European markets (and worldwide) depends on our capacity to anticipate and follow up the ecological and economical mutations that govern our markets.
6: The European customers care much about the service. What steps will you take to meet the requirements of customers on service?
The service is a basic data for the success of a brand in France and Europe. The service is the heart of DCG´s strategy in France since the inception of the company in the 1920s. The service is what allowed us to be long-lasting implanted in our markets. The service and the warranty of service are what make the difference in the eyes of our customers.
DCG is well known and recognized for the quality of their services before and after the sales. Our locations in the French territory, our field technicians, the quality of advices given to transporters... Everything is set up for insure our customers and give them the trust in our group and at the same time in the brand that we are selling.
To set up Yutong in our territory, we are applying and will apply the same service strategy.
It is again one of the major keys to success in France and Europe.
7: Could you please tell us about your deepest feelings during the cooperation process with Yutong?
The feeling which is present since the beginning of the partnership with Yutong is a feeling of trust and mutual understanding. I talked about the quality of the human at the really beginning of this interview. This adventure is before all a human adventure. I and we have found (DCG teams) in front of us, not only real professionals but also men and women with great quality, sincerely listening and being engaged every day to develop what I would call a real "partnership action".
The industrial strength is one thing, but the men and women's quality who are giving themselves to a company is another thing. One does not go without the other. One insures the other.
In Yutong, we really found a partner with whom we know that we can make big things.