LiuGong lays global plans
By Euan Youdale17 March 2022
Longstanding industry professional Phil Graysmark moved over to LiuGong’s access division late last year. AI finds out what the manufacturer’s plans are beyond its home market of China.
In early February LiuGong announced the official appointment of Phil Graysmark as global business development director for its Access Equipment Division.
Graysmark will be responsible for launching the division in Europe and for providing direct support for the company’s growth strategy in North America.
As a familiar figure in the European access market, Graysmark has extensive experience in the industry.
Most recently he was European Sales Director for LGMG in Europe. Prior to that, he held senior positions at JCB Access, when it first launched in 2017, and for Genie, again in Europewide Vice President role.
LiuGong prides itself in being a long-established global manufacturer, with more than six decades of construction equipment history.
The company boasts 17 manufacturing facilities in its home country China and overseas manufacturing facilities in Poland, India, and Brazil.
Globally LiuGong has more than 10,000 employees, five research and development bases and 17 regional parts centres and a Red Dot Award winning industrial design team based in the UK.
Now, LiuGong is expanding that global presence by introducing its range of access equipment to Europe and North America.
Heading up the company in Europe is chairman, Howard Dale, “We are delighted to welcome Phil to the team. With his many years of experience in the aerial work platform industry, he is widely known and brings a wealth of knowledge and product expertise to the team.
“We are serious about becoming a leading provider of access equipment and Phil will play a key part in driving LiuGong’s success.”
LuiGong: business growth strategy
The initial focus and investment will be on the UK and North America, with further market investments to follow.
According to Graysmark, “Our investments will see us establish our first major foothold outside of China for access equipment. I am excited about our growth potential and about developing our dealer network and direct sales to rental companies around the world.”
In China, the company has already built a strong reputation for quality and enjoys strong sales and market share growth and is complemented by LiuGong’s world-wide success in general construction equipment with its reputation for award winning design, toughness, intelligence and operator focus.
To support its growth ambitions, LiuGong has invested in a large scale, state-of-the-art MEWP factory boasting an autonomous production line.
Investing in the UK
LiuGong’s MEWP base in the UK will be located in Altrincham, Manchester. This brand-new site also houses LiuGong UK’s new regional distribution hub and the European R&D team.
The Altrincham hub is set to provide technical support and spare parts for MEWPs, it will also support LiuGong UK’s dealer network and will be the base for a dedicated service team.
The initial delivery of MEWPs, due to arrive in March, will comprise a range of scissor lifts. This initial stock will rapidly increase to include a range of boom lift models up to 24 meters.
The scissor line so far comprises a hydraulic drive series of 4m to 14m working height and an electric drive series of the same height range.
According to Graysmark, “We have moved very quickly, and our plans are all in place to establish our business with the right support and infrastructure. LiuGong is a global company, we are used to working overseas.
“There is a right way to do things and a wrong way, our aim is to always do the right things for our customers.”
International sales targets
Although LiuGong’s international access division is in its early stages, ambitions are strong and the company aims for sales of its scissor lifts to reach into the hundreds over the next year.
As Graysmark explains, “LiuGong may be new to our market with MEWPs, but these products share the same design and quality as our construction equipment products.”
The company already has around 30 dealers across Europe, many of whom previewed LiuGong’s MEWP range at its annual dealer conference in Spain back in November.
As Graysmark says, “dealers can be a tough audience to impress but it’s great to see how excited many of our partners were about this new product line. We are collaborating closely with them now in preparing market entry plans.”
Graysmark is keen to point out that LiuGong’s expansion philosophy is geared towards embracing the unique market conditions and culture of each country and region it moves into, rather than imposing its domestic way of working on them.
“As I said before we are not a typical Chinese company, we are a global company, and we know how to engage and work with partners. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things and we make sure we do what is right for every market we enter by creating value for our customers and our dealer partners.”
North American equipment market
Turning to North America, LiuGong has also committed to investment in the vast market. LiuGong placed units into the market in 2021.
Based on feedback at the October ARA show in Las Vegas, the industry remains hungry for alternative OEMs who are customer focused, the company believes.
As with Europe, the North American dealers recognise the market opportunity this new product line represents.
According to Graysmark, “There has already been a big response in Mexico and the dealers very keen to get their hands on the product.”