that right and then they look at bringing other products into the market – in China they also manufacture dump trucks, cranes and wind turbines, a bit of everything really!”

Robust and reliable machinery is always appreciated, but has SANY equipment always sold easily in the UK?

“I was lucky enough to sell the first SANY excavator in Scotland in 2015," says Lyle. “Back then it was a very difficult sell, as people assumed Chinese equipment was very poor quality, made in a sweatshop factory and that it would fall apart after the first thousand hours.

“However, that first machine – an SY75 – is still working up in the Highlands, and the customer is absolutely delighted with it. Not long after that, a big plant hire company in Scotland bought the first fleet of SANY excavators. They have 25 in their fleet now, and they’ve never missed a beat. We recently did a deal with Your Equipment Solutions of Falkirk. David Johnstone and his team placed an initial order for two 1.6 tonne and two 1.8 tonne machines, and they’ve said they’re happy to buy more in the future.”

can be collected or delivered right across the network.

“The reason for the Scotland HQ was because SANY needed a depot to house all the parts to support the dealer network and to serve regional customers. Because SANY was already well accepted in Scotland SANY decided on a direct sales mode, which we have now introduced.”

Products coming into the UK have been hit with lengthy delays and skyrocketing costs, of course. Have import woes affected SANY’s business too?

“A lot of those problems affected products arriving from Europe, although ours come direct from China,” Lyle explains. “There have been no problems with our supply and Brexit didn’t cause any changes in our relationship with China. Basically, we’ve got stock across the network, we have a steady stream of equipment coming into the UK and we can deliver.”

SANY - Profile

The SY18C is well equipped for its size.

excavator, is flying out. As soon as we get one in stock it’s gone.”

Lyle perhaps under exaggerates when he says a product has sold well, as SANY is a true heavyweight on the global stage. Indeed, research from 2020 indicates that the company sold over 15% of all excavators – which equates to 98,705 machines. With that mind-boggling performance in mind, what do the next few years look like for the company?

“SANY wants to be number one,” states Lyle, in a heartbeat. “The next thing for us is getting more people on board. We’re recruiting key account managers to target the biggest clients and more service people to look after the machinery. We’re just going to get bigger and bigger, with more people, more premises and more product.

“SANY might have been a difficult sell to begin with, but a lot of UK companies that might not have touched us before are now starting to pay attention and are approaching us for more information. So it’s exciting times!”

SANY UK & Ireland Deputy General Manager, Eric Zhao, and Scotland General Manager Lyle Sibbald.

Does SANY’s Scottish location mean that most business comes from North of the Border?

“Not at all. Our dealers are spread throughout England, Wales and the whole of Ireland. Our products come into Southampton from China and from there we have a distribution centre where products

That’s great to hear, but what machines are customers actually buying at the moment?

“The SY215 and SY135 excavators are big for us, and we also have a new eight tonne machine that is proving to be very popular with customers. The 50 tonne machine is one of our largest sellers worldwide, but here in the UK the SY26 a 2.6 tonne mini

And that’s where we leave it. My thanks to Lyle for his time in the midst of preparing to open the new depot. Meanwhile, SANY is sure to make an impact when it debuts at next year’s Executive Hire Show. Which machinery it brings along is still TBC, but watch this space for more info coming soon.


August 2021 - Executive Hire News 19

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