Chinese truck maker eyes expanding LatAm market

Updated 2018-01-22 13:23:00 Xinhua

Chinese leading truck manufacturer Shacman has launched operations in Panama with an eye to expanding its share of the Latin American market.

In a recent effort to pursue its aim, the company participated in the international heavy machinery fair Expo Maquina 2018, which took place in Panama City on Jan. 18-20.

"This fair is like a launching, an opening to show that Shacman trucks have arrived in Panama," the company's General Manager for Latin America, Xie Yan, told Xinhua at the city's main exposition center, Atlapa.

The company first entered the Latin American market in 2007, in Chile and Peru, and today has entered Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia.

The company sells about 600 trucks a year in Latin America, mainly in Peru and Chile, and hopes to increase its regional sales by some 15 percent.

"We want to take advantage of being in Panama to also cater to markets like Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago," said Xie.

If all goes well, the company, headquartered in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an, may open a branch office in Panama, he said.

China and Panama established diplomatic ties in June 2017, setting the stage for increased cooperation, especially in infrastructure building.

More Chinese companies are likely to do business in the Central American country as they strive to expand their presence in Latin America, said Xie.

"We sense other Chinese companies are interested in Panama, and ... one market may lead to another market," said Carlos Sanchez of Mantenequipos, the company that provides Shacman's post-sale service and support in Panama.

As a leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in China, Shacman has expanded its marketing service network to Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. It has established 36 overseas offices and 330 overseas service stations.

The trucks, competitively priced, consume less fuel than comparable vehicles and have a solid maintenance plan, according to Sanchez.

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