Faymonville plotting Indian market entry

 

The Indian market is becoming one of the most important target markets for global semi-trailer manufacturers. With infrastructure development being one of the key focus areas of the government, there is expected to be a huge rise in demand for specialized logistics and heavy-duty transport in the country. Identifying the potential, global semi-trailer makers and specialized transport solution providers have either already entered the Indian market or actively considering making an entry. One such company eyeing the Indian market is Faymonville. We spoke to Mr. Jeremy Keller, Area Sales Manager-Asia, Faymonville, to find out more.

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Mr. Jeremy Keller, Area Sales Manager-Asia, Faymonville

Excerpts:

Faymonville has been in existence for over 50 years. Can you give us a brief background on how the company entered the field of specialized transport and the progress you have made in the last five decades?

With an experience of over 50 years Faymonville is one of the biggest manufacturers of semi-trailers for special and heavy haulages. The company provides its customers optimal solutions and systems for any transport need outside the usual norms. Areas of use are: construction machines, industrial parts, wind power plants, crane systems and many more. Quality, flexibility, productivity, creativity and service are the company’s keywords. The range of products and services is constantly enlarged in tight collaboration with our customers. The high level of innovation and the excellent manufacturing quality of our products are secured by our own modern production plants and optimized production processes.

Up until the beginning of the 1960s, the sale of agricultural machinery and tractor cabins were the main business. In 1962, Berthold Faymonville built a new production unit and manufactured and sold forestry vehicles. At the end of the 1960s, the first semitrailer was built and the production range was quickly extended, with the addition of the first lowbed semitrailer for the transport of glass (1973), the first in-loader for the transport of glass (1977) and the first extendable hydraulic steered semi-trailer in 1980. From 1980, Faymonville became a specialist in special transportation. New production facilities were built in Belgium (1988), Luxembourg (2003) and Poland (2006). Several enlargements of all these production sites were done during the years.

The Faymonville group of companies is still under the direct control of its founding family, its sixth generation. Brothers Alain and Yves Faymonville, head its diverse operation. The simple village blacksmith’s forge where things began is a long way from modern world-wide business trading, yet the company has maintained refreshingly short lines of communication between senior managers and the factory floor.

What are the products and services you offer to your customers? Apart from the Belgian and European markets, which are the regions you serve across the world?

Faymonville has built a solid reputation in the manufacturing of customized and mission-critical semi-trailers for a wide range of special transport and heavy haulage missions. The product range encloses 16 types of trailers for different transport needs, along with our slogan: Trailers to the MAX!

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The company manufactures trailers and semi-trailers, with payloads of 20 to 2,000 tons, in order to satisfy the requirements in the area of transport with a difference. Faymonville trailers can be semi-trailers, low bed trailers, platform trailers or modular trailers. We export our products to five continents and present our vehicles on trade fairs all over the world, for example now in India at BC India event.

The distribution of Faymonville semi-trailers is ensured by our sales representatives and through an international network of authorized dealers.

What kind of manufacturing footprint does Faymonville have in Europe? How many trailers do you make and sell every year? How do you provide service support to your customers across the European region and also outside Europe?

High level of investment in plant and machinery is maintained at all three production sites. Büllingen in Belgium (surface 29,725 m²), Lentzweiller in Luxembourg (36,250 m²) and Goleniow in Poland (21,000 m²), are all modern facilities which combine high tech equipment with skilled, well trained workforce. All three sites produce both complete trailers alongside components for use in the assembly process.

Faymonville makes everything in-house. Major investment in laser-cutting equipment means little waste of raw material. The same ethos applies to other parts of the process: welding is carried out automatically by robots where appropriate, or by skilled craftsmen. Their task is made easier by substantial lifting equipment, which both supports large structures and can turn them to any angle and height to ensure comfortable working. This capability includes suspending a complete trailer frame when required.

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Paintwork will chip in normal use, and the result is rust. Faymonville offers the best surface protection system in the entire low loader sector: the MAXProtect+ treatment process. This multi-stage operation includes shot and sand-blasting, and culminates in a metallisation process that coats all metal surface areas, including inside box sections, to create a corrosion resistant barrier between the metal, its primer and topcoat paint. Although this process obviously carries a price premium, it greatly extends the life of paintwork for a decade or more, which might well be the entire working life for its first owner.

Faymonville produces around 2000 trailer units per year. In view of the special characteristics of the sold vehicles, repair assignments are often dealt with directly by us. This efficient round-the-clock service includes expert mechanics who are always on call. They go wherever help is needed at that particular moment. Faymonville also offers permanent telephone support, as it is often possible to find a ‘remote’ solution.

In addition to the company’s own 24/7 breakdown service, Faymonville customers can also obtain professional maintenance and support services from regional, qualified service partners. They guarantee immediate local assistance and provide the same services for Faymonville products while complying with the manufacturer’s strict quality standards.

The field of specialized and hydraulic trailers has seen a number of strong brands emerge from the European market. How is Faymonville different and what are your top three USPs compared to competition?

Modern facilities with high-tech equipment and skilled, well trained workforce guarantee best quality product in the market. Faymonville makes 100% in house which is the key for high quality. All processes are subject to best quality standards.

Quality to the MAX – For example: the 8-coat protection of the chassis (MAXProtect+) including metallization, permits best protection against corrosion available on the special trailer market.

Faymonville has a strong relationship with its customers and aims to find the best solution for their specific demands. This customer-oriented flexibility and creativity to reach the optimal trailer solution is strengthened in the working process by Faymonville.

The complete service offered by Faymonville is much appreciated by our customers. It doesn’t end after the sale of a trailer. In view of the special characteristics of the sold vehicles, repair assignments are often dealt directly by Faymonville. This efficient round-the-clock service includes expert mechanics who are always on call. They go wherever help is needed. Faymonville also offers permanent telephone support, as it is often possible to find a ‘remote’ solution.

The Indian market is seeing increasing activity in the specialized road transport sector with a number of global brands, especially from Europe, trying to get a foothold in the market and establish long-term presence. How important is India for Faymonville and what are your plans for the market?

Vehicles from Faymonville are doing transport jobs around the whole world, from Norway to South Africa, from Malaysia to Canada, from Germany to Australia.

In 2015, we exported our trailers to 50 countries. Faymonville trailers are transporting goods and materials in over 86 countries. In 2015, we reached the highest export volume in Germany, France, Turkey and the UK. But we are always looking actively for new opportunities to distribute our high-tech products along new markets – for example in India!

A big challenge, where Faymonville puts all its strength. We plan to implement our trailers in the Indian market and maybe to develop a partnership with a local dealer in the near future.

An extension of the previous question. As you might be aware, India is one of the most challenging markets globally, not just because of its cost-competitiveness but also for its demand for high quality at competitive costs. How do you plan to deliver the right kind of results in India in terms of product configuration, cost, sales & service network, etc.?

The products that Faymonville offers to India are specified to the national requirements. This includes optimization of the pricing level but with unique product quality.

About service: As already mentioned, repair assignments are often dealt directly by Faymonville. This efficient round-the-clock service includes expert mechanics who are always on call. Faymonville also offers permanent telephone support, as it is often possible to find a ‘remote’ solution. It should be an aim to collaborate in the near future with a local service center.

Do you plan to enter India with a fully-owned subsidiary or have you identified any potential partner for the Indian market? What kind of products do you consider bringing to India and have you identified any particular location for your setup in the country?

We are searching for a potential partner for our future collaboration. Faymonville has the ideal products for the transport needs in India. We have modular trailers in our range from type ModulMAX. These modular vehicles can be coupled not only with each other (lengthwise and crosswise), but also with numerous transport fixtures (gooseneck, drawbar, turntables, hydraulically widening and extending vessel decks, flatbed decks from an overall height of 250 mm or Telescopic excavator decks).

This variety of combination options as well as the user-friendly operating concept makes the ModulMAX a guarantor of flexibility and economy for the most complex of heavy-duty transport jobs. Apart from the compatibility with Faymonville PowerMAX SPMT transport modules, the ModulMAX offers seamless inter-operability with identical vehicles from other manufacturers (S-ST, G-SL).

Faymonville is also a specialist in manufacturing wind blade trailers. This trailer type is called TeleMAX, a 2 to 6-axle flatbed semi-trailer, extendable by up to four times to 65 metres. Due to its extending loading platform, the TeleMAX flatbed semi-trailer is ideally suited for transport of long or bulky loads.

Its lightweight design, greater steering angle and low loading platform height additionally guarantees optimum manoeuvrability with the highest possible payload. The TeleMAX therefore fulfils all conditions for the time-efficient and cost-effective transportation of long or bulky goods for example; wind power plants or building structures.

Faymonville also plans to implement its semi-trailers (MultiMAX) and low bed trailers (MegaMAX) in the Indian transport market in the future.

What position do you expect/aspire to have in the Indian market by the end of 2017 (medium term) and by 2020 (long term)?

Faymonville is always ambitious to the MAX! Also in India, we put the highest possible objectives. First of all, we want a quick Implementation of our trailer range in the market. So in medium term, a growing numbers of selling units, and in longer term, it should be good to find maybe a local partner for sales and service.

 

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