Heavy-duty truck makers, Shacman, has announced a major decision to establish its regional headquarters in Jamaica.
The China-based company, which recently inked a deal with Tank Weld (TW) to distribute its trucks in Jamaica, will be setting up offices in Six Miles, St Andrew, close to TW’s main offices, by end of April 2018. The company announced its decision to its partners early last week (March 26).
“This decision certainly demonstrates a level of confidence in Jamaica,” John Ralston, TW’s managing director stated. “There is no other motor vehicle brand in Jamaica for which the manufacturer has established its regional headquarters with permanent staff living here.”
The move is likely to result in improved access to after-sales services.
“For us at Tank Weld, this is a very positive move, given that a regional office in Jamaica, with permanent technical staff residing here, will provide access to excellent assistance and support to TW in responding to its customers’ enquiries; and after-sales service requirements, at a technical level,” Mr Ralston explained.
He added, “This will raise the confidence level of customers for the Shacman brand and the commitment to ensure their trucks receive detailed attention.”
Shacman is an incorporation of three names: Sha is the first three letters in the Shaanxi Automobile Group, and also the first letters in the name of the Chinese city where the factory is located. The letter C is the first letter in the name of the American engine builder Cummins Inc., and MAN stands for the advanced complete vehicle heavy duty truck technology introduced from the MAN Truck and Bus AG Group in Germany.
Tank Weld, a nearly 50-year-old heavy-duty equipment company, says it was observing Shacman trucks in Jamaica for several years prior to inking the deal with the company in January of this year. Shacman has been operating units under rugged conditions in Jamaica for the China Harbour Engineering Company, and in 2017 Tank Weld purchased several trucks to test for its own purposes.
“We were very excited with the test results in every respect, and immediately proceeded to develop a relationship with Shacman.” Mr Ralston explained. “We were invited to visit the plant in Shaanxi China, which confirmed our expectation that Shacman is a substantial manufacturer who has immense pride in the quality of its trucks through extensive research and development. In addition, its commitment for after-sales service for its customers,” Mr Ralston said. Shacman employs some 32,000 people.
Recognising the deficiency of opportunities for financing, Tank Weld partnered with JN Bank to provide a commercial loan for local haulage contractors to finance the purchasing of the heavy-duty vehicles.
“We see this as a boon for an important subsector of the micro and small business industry,” said Saniah Spencer, chief marketing and product development, JN Bank, who noted that the subsector’s importance to the economy is often under-appreciated.
“JN Bank’s philosophy is centred on developing solutions to empower all segments of the Jamaican economy; and, we strongly believe that the haulage subsector is an area where the country can achieve significant growth,” Ms Spencer underscored.
In his summation, Mr Ralston said that, “Tank Weld sees the combination of the high quality of the Shacman truck, the strong support for parts and service by Tank Weld, the attractive financing by JN Bank, and the solid commitment of Shacman, to be revolutionary for the trucking industry in Jamaica.”
“This will certainly open up opportunities for small, medium and large haulage contractors which never existed before,” he affirmed.