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LiuGong Enters Second Half of 2023 With Continued Momentum, Strong Sales, Enhanced Team, Electric Energy

Thu July 13, 2023 - National Edition #16

The battery electric 856H-E MAX Wheel Loader debuted to the North American market at the 2023 ConExpo-Con/AGG show.
The battery electric 856H-E MAX Wheel Loader debuted to the North American market at the 2023 ConExpo-Con/AGG show.

As the second half of 2023 begins, LiuGong continues to build upon its status as one of the fastest growing construction brands in North America.

The first half of this year has produced strong results, due to a successful ConExpo-Con/AGG show in March in Las Vegas and the sustained growth in its material handling division alongside its construction equipment products.

Business Highlights

LiuGong reported $3.932 billion in construction equipment (CE) sales in 2022, per the 2023 KHL Yellow Table released by International Construction in its May-June 2023 issue. This number is quite close with its 2021 sales numbers of $4.055 billion and continues the trend of LiuGong sales growth over the last several years.

"I think we have uniquely been a beneficiary of some of the supply chain challenges in our industry over the last two to three years," said Andrew Ryan, president, LiuGong North America.

"When we were in times of tight supply, and whether it was a dealer organization or an end customer needed to find equipment to get the job done, we stood up with availability and we stood up with quality machines. Once the customer or the dealer gave them a chance, they came back really impressed."

The exponential growth over the time since the 2020 ConExpo-Con/AGG show has been staggering, Ryan said.

"From 2020 to 2021, our business grew by 90 percent," Ryan said. "From 2021 to ‘22, our business grew by 75 percent, and we expect our business will grow at least by 50 percent this year and more likely by 75 percent as we continue to add more dealer partners and get more of those repeat purchases from our customers."

LiuGong placing significant investment towards the material handling side of the business also is paying dividends.

"LiuGong as a corporation made big investments and commitment to be in the forklift in material handling business," Ryan said. "We invested more than $100 million in factory automation in our plant in China, and commensurately we've invested to build a team to help grow the business in North America.

"With our new leadership group for the material handling business, we've grown the business more than 10 times. We're very excited about the growth of that business, and we expect long term that it's going to be between 40 and 50 percent of the total business that we do in North America."

New Leaders

The second half of the year also sees LiuGong enhance its leadership team to keep up with that growth.

Mike Zhou, product manager, wheel loaders, will transition into a newly established position as product manager, battery electric vehicles. The battery electric 856H-E MAX Wheel Loader debuted to the North American market at the 2023 ConExpo-Con/AGG show with the first machine sold to the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, and more to follow.

Andrew Dargatz joins the LiuGong team as Zhou's replacement as product manager, wheel loaders. Dargatz has an extensive resume within the construction equipment industry with more than 15 years of experience.

Both Zhou and Dargatz officially began in their new roles on July 1 and report to Chris Saucedo, senior vice president, strategy and customer solutions, LiuGong North America.

The LiuGong marketing team is strengthened with the addition of Stephanie Gonzales as channel marketing manager. Gonzales has a deep marketing and brand management background, including a decade working with a major automotive OEM.

Upcoming Opportunities

LiuGong has several either expanded or new growth opportunities the second half of 2023 and is looking ahead to 2024 as one of the industry-leading battery electric vehicle manufacturers.

LiuGong recently was awarded a Sourcewell contract in the "Heavy Construction Equipment" category. This multi-year contract allows government and education entities in the United States and Canada to procure equipment and services.

The company is set to expand its range of battery electric vehicle models, with more wheel loader models anticipated in the North American market. Beyond wheel loaders, LiuGong has developed electric excavators, forklifts and other products for different markets with the intent to bring more to North America. These two may go together as emissions footprints are being closely scrutinized and opening the window for a range of new products to enter fleets, Ryan explained.

"We're seeing demand from a couple of very important segments," Ryan said. "First and foremost, our friends in the cement and quarrying aggregates industry are facing a lot of pressure from both shareholders and senior managers and social organizations to reduce their emissions footprint.

"The cement industry is documented to account for about 15 percent of global emissions. So their urgency to make their operation zero emissions is quite high, and they're looking to LiuGong to be a partner in that effort and help them achieve those goals.

"Secondarily, governments around the world are changing regulations and offering lots of incentives to encourage investment in electric machinery.

"It will be some time before the industry adopts this technology completely and at a scale level. But we're very well-positioned at LiuGong for the segment of customers that needs these products and wants these products."

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