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We are on the road —— Interview with Matthew Tian

2014-10-20 -

☺Yutong has grown into the world’s bus manufacturer. Do you think what Yutong’s core competitiveness in the Latin American market is and what measures Yutong will take to further enhance its competitiveness?

In the Latin American area, the competition is very fierce due to the comparatively open market. Yutong needs to face not only the strong competitors from Brazil, but also a number of Chinese counterparts. The Brazilian bus builders have many years of experience in the Latin American market and the major chassis suppliers here are world’s renowned brands like MERCEDES, VOLVO, SCANIA and VW. Therefore, it is hard to change the market scenario in a short period. In addition, the Chinese products have serious homogenization and their competition is mainly limited in the price level.

Compared with its competitors, Yutong’s core competitiveness in the Latin American area is the “Customer-orientation, staff-orientation” philosophy and the “Self-reliance” market management strategy. But so far, the in-depth degree of them is far from enough and we still need to optimize in terms of the depth, width and precision, continuously improve the ability of the organization and team and enhance the competitiveness in technology, products, services, channels, financing and even the business mode.

☺Generally speaking, Chinese bus products are inferior to the foreign counterparts in terms of the brand strength and product level. Can we say that the competitiveness of Yutong buses or Chinese buses is still the price?

Foreign brands or Chinese brands are not merely a simple definition, but rather a broad concept, which can not be compared simply.

Among numerous foreign brands, the most influential brands are mainly the big brands from European and American area, like VW, NEOMAN, SCANIA and VOLVO. There are big differences among various Chinese bus brands, and we can not classify the buses only by its manufacturing country.

As the bus brand in China, Yutong’s benchmark should be the major bus brands in Europe and we still need to face the price competition in some specific markets. But the price is only one of the important means of competition, the key factor is still the competition of comprehensive strength.

☺Many well-known multinational companies are trying to carry out the “global operations, local management” mode. How do you think of this trend? Could you please introduce the development situation of Yutong’s sales network in Latin America and the localization status?

If an enterprise wants to become larger and stronger, the globalization is an inevitable development direction. Not only the market but also the allocation of resources needs to be globalized. Many products of Chinese enterprises have been sold all over the world, but this is not the real transnational operation.

Right now the customization degree in the bus industry is high, and the cultural traditions, customs, laws and regulations, geography, climate and road conditions vary from one area to another. Therefore, it is very important to figure out the real needs of customers, and the sales and service networks which are convenient for customers should be set up as well.

Up to now, the sales and service networks we have established in the key markets are still limited in capitals or first-tier cities and cover few second and third-tier cities. For some markets with high barriers, the final solution is the localized production. This kind of markets is most likely influenced by the government policies, and we can concern the market opportunities that may occur.

☺When the channels cover more and more countries and regions, the supply system of spare parts and after-sales service will be faced with enormous challenges. How would Yutong deal with that?

With our constant efforts in the Latin American market, the channels are meant to cover more and more countries and regions and the behavior of the company should be adapted and improved accordingly along with the different time nodes and market environment.

So far, in the field of services, Yutong still relies on the temporary allocation of staff and spare parts to deal with emergency problems. But in the future, this kind of solution can not meet the practical requirements when Yutong’s market share and the number of on-road vehicles go up.

Therefore, the fundamental solution is to establish a set of complete after-sales service operation system, optimize the standard and scientific personnel training guidelines and gradually push forward the development of local service providers so as to form a set of after-sales service standards which can showcase Yutong’s soft power and brand characteristics.

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