Sinotruk: Scripting a Success Story in India

Jeet Kasar, Country Manager – India, Sinotruk

Sinotruk’s long-term plans to gain a strong foothold in the Indian market include bringing new and sturdier products and set up a local manufacturing base, informs Jeet Kasar, Country Manager – India, Sinotruk.

Sinotruk has added a new mining truck Howo Mine King to its wide range. What are its innovative features?

Sinotruk’ new mining truck Howo Mine King is an innovative concept that combines higher capacity with ease of operation in tough mining conditions. An Allison automatic transmission (4600 ORS), MAN engine (MC13.48T30) and higher axle ratio to produce more torque at wheel end.

Over the last few years, Sinotruk has made various upgrades in the engine, transmission, capacity and cabin design, making it the best-in-class for Indian mines. Whenever anything new comes on the market, people tend to question its performance and think that it is impossible for a dumper to carry 70 tons with 480 hp as they have not seen it happen. People told us that everything was fine on paper, but it would not work on the ground. So, we brought five trucks here and everyone was surprised.

Our competitor has a truck with 520 hp engine that carries 50 tons. On the other hand, our truck has a 480 hp engine and it carries over 70 tons. This has been made possible by superior technology. We are entering the Indian market not by cutting price but by offering the best quality truck with a superlative performance. These are the two qualities on which we plan to script Sinotruk’s success.

Sinotruk will broadcast the fact that it is providing cutting-edge technology at a comparatively better price. Most European brands are actually quite expensive. In fact, the spare parts pricing is ridiculous, in my opinion.

Going forward, what has been your offering in terms of capacity, payload and body variants?

In Indian mines today, most of the trucks being used are road trucks. Even if they are heavy duty trucks manufactured in Europe and imported into India, they are 31-ton trucks hauling loads up to 50 tons. In comparison, our Howo Mine King is of 100 tons and it carries weights up to 70 ton with its 30 cum body.

In the Howo Mine King, designed for mining operations, its width has been increased and the length decreased. This reduces chances of toppling (roads in mining areas are congested and uneven) and operators get better turning radius. If your truck is overloaded, it would run high maintenance costs and give comparatively low productivity. Sinotruk, on the other hand, offers low maintenance cost and higher productivity.

In order to ensure that high levels of productivity are maintained, we rely 100 percent on imports, which makes it difficult on the pocket considering the high import duty. However, we have plans to start local manufacturing in India in the future, which will help us slash costs and we will be able to deliver our superior quality product at competitive rates. We also have 32, 34 cum body, which is used for coal and over burden applications, and a new 8 x 4 Construction truck is in the pipeline for the Indian Market.

What onsite support is provided by Sinotruk?

For the Indian market, our mining trucks will be running 22 hours and 7 days a week, so we need a different strategy here. We are building our own technical team, which will train the technicians and engineers internally, and also provide service support, besides spare parts.

We are seeing our trucks working perfectly. Sinotruk is also providing value-added services like driver training, and trouble-shooting training to its service team and technicians of customers for preventive maintenance. We have made service agreements to work closely with customers to improve vehicle utilization. Since the products delivered are providing the promised uptime with superior return on investment, we are confident that in the coming days, Sinotruk will become the most trusted brand in the Indian market.

What are Sinotruk’s plans to cater to infrastructural expansion with its commercial vehicle division in the coming years?

For infrastructure construction, I would clearly have two different products: one would be for mining, which is an off-road vehicle for large construction purposes like airports or seaports, as well as for contractors in the mining segment. Mine Developer and Operator (MDO) projects for coal blocks will benefit hugely from this product.

Infrastructure development in India is very much on the upside and growing year on year. Earlier, there were small coals blocks open for mining, but now, there are several MDO projects. Last year, five such projects were allotted to various contractors. MDO projects are long-term projects, which may run for 20-30 years. However, equipment life is just for five years. In conventional mining, the contracts are from 3 to 10 years maximum; the equipment gets used and then you can bid afresh.

Jeet Kasar, Country Manager – India, Sinotruk

So, here, we have to plan for the long-term, which will be definitely helpful for Sinotruk to gain a footprint in the mining area, as our products being sturdier, they last longer. In case of construction of roads, buildings and commercial places, we do plan to bring in a truck. In fact, our strategy is to bring what is not available in the market. We have more varieties available in our product portfolio than the ones made available in India by commercial vehicle companies. So, we are selecting products like 8 x 4 Construction trucks with higher payload capacity to reduce the total cost of ownership, and LNG trucks that are beneficial for the environment as well as for huge cost savings for the fleet owners.

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