/ “Little Dragon” will try on the ChTZ tracks
The Chelyabinsk tractor specialists, the first ones among their Russian colleagues, will pass on their technologies to Vietnam
The Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, the “Uralvagonzavod” of Nizhny Tagil and the Vietnamese company “Lilama” signed an agreement in Moscow concerning their collaboration on production of the excavators and the bulldozers as well as on development of the construction vehicles market in Vietnam. The Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung having arrived in the capital with official visit took part in the ceremony held within the limits of the international business forum, one of the organizers of which was the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV).
Vietnam is considered as an utterly capacious market by a lot of world machinery manufacturers. It’s not for nothing that today this state is called as “Little Dragon”: it follows China (“Big Dragon”) in the South-Asian region. This similarity is well grounded. The increase rates of the gross domestic product in SRV are close to those, which are shown by the Celestial Empire making amazed the whole world by its rapid economic growth. “The younger brother” keeps close on his neighbor heels in road construction as well as in building of the hydraulic electric power stations, oil production areas, offices and houses. The investment flow here will never run out. The World and Asian Banks finance the million-strong projects. Moreover, there are quite a number of the private investors.
The most major Vietnamese diversified corporation “Lilama” takes an active part in development of the former South-Asian province as well as it is in charge of the numerous constructions. It has taken on an especially critical job from the government of SRV: to develop in Vietnam the production of excavators and bulldozers, which expects not only the commercial operations performing but also the foreign technologies purchasing.
To date a lot of the transnational companies prefer to “drop in” the perspective markets developing domestic manufacture in the thriving countries, which is favored by cheap labor in such regions, tax benefits and proximity of steady customer. Nowadays Vietnam is seemed to be a sop in the pan for them. There is no lack of the ones among the major tractor building companies who wish to settle in this country. Nevertheless, it is harder to develop production of the machines “Komatsu” and “Caterpillar” due to their “capriciousness” – it is an expensive treat. But, as for the Chinese analogs, for the present the Vietnamese do not treat them very well owing to their questionable quality. They do not apply even the metal fabricated in the Celestial Empire: they say they couldn’t do wonder with it.
The choice in favor of the most major Russian manufacturers of the road-building machinery was made owing to the acceptable price-and-quality ratio of their products, but that was not the sole reason. The majority of the specialists of the corporation “Lilama” including its General Director Fam Hung was graduated from the Russian institutes of higher education; they speak in good Russian, and they entertain a tender feeling for their “second Motherland”. Furthermore, the Vietnamese retain in their memory the assistance of the Soviet Union during the USA aggression against this small state. For instance, the Chelyabinsk tractor T-100 is exhibited at the honorable place in the museum of the engineer troops in Hanoi. Throughout of the period of hostilities this tractor fulfilled many fortification tasks concerning construction of the defensive installations. ChTZ and Vietnam are also tied by the postwar collaboration. The machinery manufactured by the South Ural plant was operated when constructing hydropower station “Hao Bing”, and when laying highway “Ho Shi Ming” connected the north part of the country with the south one. The machinery produced in Chelyabinsk was also applied at the other major construction sites. In 2003 the President of SRV honored the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant with the Vietnamese Order of Friendship “For contribution to consolidation of the economic collaboration”. In a word, the “genetic memory” of the Vietnamese is on ChTZ side.
The Chelyabinsk tractor is in production line
The agreement signed in Moscow supposes the establishment of a joint stock company shared by the corporation “Lilama”, ChTZ and “Uralvagonzavod”, which is to produce 200 excavators, 100 bulldozers and 200 special-purpose construction machines (loaders and excavators with bulldozers of the other modifications). The new company will be founded approximately in 2008.
Giving support to the national tractor building of SRV, for the first time the Chelyabinsk plant provides the foreigners with their design and technological documentation. As the base model of bulldozer meant for production B-170 figures in this agreement. This is a predecessor of the bulldozer B-10, which is in production today at the plant. However, the machines are similar in the design. “The forefather” is a little simpler and cheaper that is more preferable for the growing market. ChTZ began to produce it in the nineties. This machine has given good account of itself being in demand not only in Russia but abroad too – in Kazakhstan, Hungary, and Czechia.
But the work on the agreement execution, which is in store, will be huge as the Chelyabinsk tractor specialists notice. In October a group of ChTZ specialists will be on their business trip in Vietnam to assess the capabilities of the corporation “Lilama”, which has its production capabilities in Hanoi. But they should to have been modernized. It is possible that the SRV government will invest in new equipment.
For the time being the question concerning future trademark of the Chelyabinsk bulldozers, which will be manufactured, is left open. There are cases when the machinery trademark was renamed after transfer of technology. For instance, that was the case of the Japanese bulldozer “Komatsu” that in China was renamed in its own way, as “Shantui”. If the same happens to B-170, the trademark transfer will be also necessary: it will make the project more promising. Besides, for the present the step-by-step development of production new for Vietnam is in project.
At first the specialists from Chelyabinsk and Nizhny Tagil will transfer their technology of big modules assembling, then – the smaller units assembling. At second they will apply some part of the completing products manufactured in SRV, and then the process of “replacement” can develop. This program is of high significance for Vietnam and its Russian partners. Besides, the commercial advantage of its development can be also considerable.
Issued in “Chelyabinsk Tractor”, No 38, the 28th of September, 2007, Evgeny KITAEV