Zhongtong Bus Holding limited is a very large company and are financially sound and stable.. They have been in operation for over 50 years.
Zhongtong Bus Holding Company is listed on the Shenzen Stock Exchange, with 30% of Zhongtong’s shares being owned by local government. The fact that they are both listed on the public share register and partially government owned, provides a level of financial stability and more importantly financial transparency.
Zhongtong has a number of aspects to their business. This includes a chassis factory, the bus building factory, a seat factory, and an air conditioning factory. Zhongtong employs over 3,000 staff with an annual production capacity of 30,000 buses per annum. Approximately 20-30% of annual production is for the export market.
Zhongtong built a substantial new factory in 2013. This new factory is 366,241 square metres in area and as an annual production capacity of 30,000 units per annum. This new factory will allow Zhongtong to produce up to 10,000 new energy buses per annum. This factory has incorporated the latest manufacturing technology, including automated painted. All Zhongtong buses that come into New Zealand are steel framed and have rigorous rust protection processes for this framing. Zhongtong is one of only two bus manufactures in China that uses electrophorus as its primary rust protection mechanisms (this is a very similar process to that currently used in car production). This was one of the major advances made in the new factory. Zhongtong is a very progressive company and are currently reinvesting 4% of its revenue in Research and Development, with a main focus of this R&D being in their new energy programme.
The quality and performance of Zhongtong vehicles are continually improving due to feedback from customers and investment in research and development
Although New Zealand is a relatively small market, Zhongtong is very committed to delivering the best product and customer service possible. This is partially because New Zealand was one of the first countries that they exported to, and also because New Zealand is the first developed country that they had export dealings with.
Zhongtong’s new energy programme
Zhongtong established their New Energy Programme Department in 2004. Currently Zhongtong has 45 staff working full time in their R&D centre. Zhongtong has strategic cooperation with 8 universities based in China. Since the establishment of this unit, Zhongtong has been awarded a number of research grants to assist in their R&D programme. Most recently in February this year, Zhongtong was awarded a grant of 80 million yuan (approximately NZD 16 million) to aid their development in plug-in hybrid and pure electric buses.
The focus of their R&D programme is to both continually improve the hybrid and electric technology and also to increase the number of bus models that are commercially produced with this technology.
Zhongtong’s new energy programme timeline:
- 2004-2006: establishment of the new energy programme;
- 2006-2008: Zhongtong was selected to be the only bus manufacturer to participate in the National“863” project. The National 863 project was a programme that was funded and administrated by the People’s Republic of China central government which was intended to stimulate the development of advanced technologies. The development and testing of both hybrid and pure electric buses was part of the National 863 project funding;
- 2008: Zhongtong manufactured pure electric buses for the 2008 Beijing Olympics;
- 2008 onwards: Zhongtong is continuing to develop its new energy bus technology and commercialise this technology
Zhongtong now has nearly 100 new energy bus patents and is on its 7th generation of new energy buses. For the domestic market, almost all of Zhongtong’s production for city buses are from their new energy product line.
Photos of Zhongtong factory