What is happening in China’s MEWP rental market?
09 October 2023
Ahead of APEX Asia, which takes place in Shanghai 24-27 October, Access International asked manufacturers exhibiting at the show to share their thoughts on the Chinese market and its direction.
As Trojan batteries explains, the key challenges in the China MEWP sector includes fierce competition due to the growth of the market, “Not only from domestic enterprises, but also international competitors. Price, quality, and service have become key factors for companies to compete for market share.”
Domestic MEWP manufacturer Jovoo adds that this is combined with a downturn in the Chinese construction market and intense competition within the rental market. “Large rental companies are quickly seizing market share due to their capital advantage, while smaller rental businesses are struggling to survive.”
Jovoo is also seeing increasingly competitive pricing, caused by competition among domestic suppliers in China, which is also now spreading abroad. “The international market has yet to fully recognize Chinese brands, and the price competition that originated in China is now spreading worldwide.”
Canada-based Skyjack does not see an end to new manufacturers in the aerial platform sector. “With the development of China’s MEWP market, more and more companies are entering, and a new market pattern has emerged across the whole industry.”
In the future, how the industry is standardised and encouraged to develop in a healthy and sustainable way, while providing more protection and value to customers, may become a key topic, adds Skyjack.
While Skyjack may be a “latecomer” to China and the Asia-Pacific region, with its recently inaugurated factory, “We are confident that we can leverage the resources and experience of the Canadian head office to develop more competitive products for the local market, and compete with the dominant manufacturers in China, as well as with other internationally recognised brands.”
According to Trojan the future of access in China is strong, despite wider downturns. “With the advancement of urbanization, the demand for aerial machinery in the fields of construction, maintenance and restoration is increasing, and the market potential is huge.”
Emerging industries such as wind power, solar energy have broad application potential for aerial platforms, and with the rapid development of renewable energy industry in China, market opportunities are increasing.
This is supported by the Chinese government’s commitment to promoting equipment manufacturing and the construction sector and is giving support and introducing preferential policies to development that.
In addition, China’s active promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative will promote the domestic MEWP market and expand overseas market opportunities, says Trojan.
From a components producer standpoint, Cobo points to the fact that the MEWP rental fleet population in China is now bigger than Europe’s and almost as big as North America’s. Five out of the top 10 MEWP manufacturers are now headquartered in Mainland China. “However, currently there is fierce competition in the traditional applications such as scissor lifts and boom lifts, and the growth level is not as high as before.
“We certainly foresee growth opportunities in Western markets. Several Chinese MEWP manufacturers have invested in Mexico in order to sell in the North American Region without impact of anti-dumping duties imposed by US government on imports from China, and in new applications such as fixed and rotating telehandlers, which is required for construction as well as agriculture applications.”
It is also no secret that the government-led China largescale investment in charging infrastructure for electric equipment, such as MEWPs, is advanced compared to most European and North America markets, and 100% electric rough terrain lifts now represent 80% of that market, compared to 20% being diesel.
As major Chinese manufacturer LGMG points out, “In recent years, electrification has become an important direction in the aerial platform sector in China.
“Coupled with new updates in batteries, electric drive and electronic control, electric aerial machinery has mushroomed. In the face of a variety of market choices, intelligent, efficient, environmentally friendly, reliable and durable machines have become a prerequisite for users, especially leasers (rental companies), to choose an electric aerial work platform.”
According to Trojan, “the increasing awareness of environmental protection has led to an increase in the market demand for low-emission, high-performance aerial Lifts. Companies need to invest more in R&D and develop products that meet environmental standards.
Trojan adds, “With the development of science and technology, the demand for new technologies and new materials in the aerial work machinery market is increasing. Enterprises need to continuously innovate and upgrade technology to meet market demand.”
Looking ahead, LGMG sees the global markets continuing to converged along with the development of advanced technologies to solve labour shortages and other challenges, “Heavy machines will continue to focus on internationalization, digital intelligence and electrification.
“We will continue to make efforts to meet the needs of different markets and users; Through the creation of intelligent, unmanned, electric products.”