It’s safe to say that the last couple months have been a rather hectic one for the HC-UK team. We’ve been living out of a suitcase for the best part. After a successful week at IMHX 2019 the team flew out to China for the 3rd Global Hangcha Dealer Conference. More than 150 dealer representatives were invited from over 120 countries around the world, including: Israel, USA, Australia and the UAE.
After landing in China we were escorted by shuttle bus to the Hangshou Hotel. It was the same hotel which hosted the G20 Summit back in 2015. Jason Wu, General Manager of Hangcha, welcomed all overseas dealers for their long-term cooperation. He also outlined their mission to become a top five global Material Handling manufacturer within the next 5 years (currently 8th in the rankings).
The next day we were up bright and early for a 7am departure to the new Hangcha factory. This is where the welding, hydraulics and transmissions are built. Due to recent demand this factory has been designed to alleviate pressures and space from the main plant – located 5k away, which was our next stop.
You were taken back by the sheer size of the original plant – 57 football pitches to be precise! It’s what makes it the biggest material handling manufacturing plant in the world.
This is the factory where they manufacture the lithium-Ion batteries and gearboxes. As soon as you walked in you were took back by the impressive automated assembly and forklift production line which seemed to go on for miles. It was fascinating to see such a ginormous operation in action – the level of detail that goes into building each truck before a certain deadline is something to admire. The tour gave us full confidence that the quality of each major competent throughout was very high.
During the tour we were able to interact with other Hangcha dealers – BREXIT was a question on everyone’s lips; we felt like qualified politicians afterwards! We also discovered that European dealers were very close, which helped overcome daily issues and answer questions – this is something we want to replicate.
After the factory tour, we were taken into a large exhibition area where we were welcomed by the Hangcha Carnival. Unfortunately, this not the same thing as the South American carnivals! Various demonstration areas including AGV, Lithium-Ion products, aerial platform and attachments were on show. There were in excess of 200 truck models on display.
In the evening singers and dancers made their way to the stage for entertainment. This was followed by a Martial arts group and live band. For one moment we thought we were on China’s Got Talent!
The second day of the Conference included various new product presentations, including the Lithium-Ion battery Powered Electric Forklift. We also learnt that the battery suppliers for these trucks are CATL, a world leader in battery technology. High-profile customers include BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.
Special Appreciation Award
During the awards evening, we were fortunate enough to pick up the ‘Hangcha 2018 Special Contribution Award’. Out of the 150 dealers – HC-UK were only one of a handful of dealers to pick up an award. Steve was warned not to go up and make a speech else we’d of missed our flight home! It’s always nice to be recognised by our peers and shows we must be doing something right. We wouldn’t have received this award if it wasn’t for our dealer’s continuous support, so thank you.
Our flight home was a long one which gave us a time to reflect on the busy few days. We left feeling full of optimism and confidence in the brand, which seems to be going from strength to strength. One thing that stood out above most over the last couple of days was the sheer size of the Hangcha Group – with the future looking to be an exciting one.