Company vying for a multi-million dollar Chinese contract.
A Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI) representative recently returned from a one-week trade mission to China with South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and other S.D. manufacturers. The trip was designed to build rapport with Chinese importers and possibly land a multi-million dollar deal with a major Chinese contractor.
Bruce Viau, international sales coordinator for heavy equipment manufacturer Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI), based in Yankton, S.D., and president of the Great Plains International Trade Association (GPITA), was invited by the South Dakota Office of Economic Development. As part of the mission, Viau spent time in Beijing, Shanghai, and Ulaanbaatar, the capitol of Mongolia.
While Viau was invited both to represent one of South Dakota’s leading manufacturers and because of his role with GPITA, he also used the opportunity to help grow KPI-JCI’s sales in Asia and conduct dealer training with the company’s international dealerships.
“There are 1.4 billion consumers in China alone,” Viau says. “All of those people want infrastructure. They want hospitals, schools, roads, telecommunications – everything we have. That’s a huge market for us, as we manufacture equipment that helps build infrastructure.”
KPI-JCI was selected as one of two companies vying for a contract to build dozens of aggregate plants over the next five years in China, according to Viau. The yet-to-be-named Chinese company purchased a 4500 VSI crushing plant as a test machine, and will make a purchasing decision in the next few months.
“This is a critical time for South Dakota to be active in exports because that is where our growth is going to come from at this point in time,” Viau says. “Only a small percentage of the world’s economy is in North America. If we are going to grow our economy and jobs in South Dakota, we have to be able to satisfy the rest of the world’s consumers.”
While in the region, Viau also met with a newly-authorized KPI-JCI dealership, Beijing Huaqiangruiye Trade Co., conducted training with KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens authorized dealer United Machinery, Inc., and met with five customers in Mongolia.
Viau says the vast market potential in China makes it important to continue a presence, noting that sales have grown every year in the past decade as construction booms in Chinese cities.
“Since becoming a part of the Astec Aggregate & Mining Group, our sales have gone from nothing in China to one of the countries where we can depend on sales each year,” Viau says. “The market is growing, and we must actively participate if we want to grow as a company and to grow as South Dakota manufacturers.”
More information about KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens is available at www.kpijci.com.