by Xinhua writers Peter Mertz, Huang Heng
LAS VEGAS, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese heavy equipments targeting the U.S. 100-billion-dollar construction market has taken a strong foothold at 2017 CONEXPO held Tuesday.
An estimated record 130,000 attendees would set foot on this desert oasis of Nevada for the expo by the weekend, where China has attracted the most spotlight, said organizers.
"Most of the folks speculating about further Chinese entry into the (American) market fall into the 'when' camp, not the 'if' camp," said former Sany America CEO Mike Rhoda.
Sources said CONEXPO--CON/AGG, held in the United States every three years, represents a 160-billion-U.S. dollar's global industry, which is expected to reach some 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2021.
The biggest international splash at this year's show was made by the Chinese -- titans of the construction industry in many's eyes - who have literally brought tons of equipments from across the Pacific to exhibit.
"The Chinese invested well more than a million dollars just to attend CONEXPO," said Barry Hubscher, 56, a Chicago heavy equipment sales expert. "Just the costs to transport the equipments are enormous."
The Chinese construction leaders assembling in the Nevada desert have made a "who's who" of the industry - men directly responsible for China's fast growing construction industry during the past 30 years.
In the past 20 years, China's high-speed railway system has seen the building of more than 30,000 kilometers' track, the nation's highway has exceeded 130,000 km, and more than 3,200 km of subways have been constructed.
China has been in full production mode since the great reform and opening up initiated by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s, and its construction equipments of big brands have been seen in 170 countries around the world, according to Qi Jun, the president of the China Construction Machinery Association.
Qi was the keynote speaker at a press conference and a workshop held by China's Ministry of Commerce on the expo's opening day that attracted more than 100 media outlets and professionals construction people.
There, leaders of the biggest construction equipment heavyweights in China took stage to discuss their views of the U.S. market. Among them were chief executives of China's top three equipment companies - Sany, Zoomlion and XCMG.
Specifically, Sany has made more excavators than any other producers in the world (last year 170,000 sets), XCMG was the world leader in compaction equipment production, and Zoomlion in tower cranes.
"This important brand promotion gives us an opportunity to enhance the international influence of the Chinese brands," Nick Yaksich, the senior vice president of the Washington-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers told the audience.
The Chinese equipment producers have received the increasing acceptance and sales of their products in the United States, according to industry experts.
The booming of nuclear power plant and bridge construction have created lucrative business chances for earthmoving and piling machinery, concrete machinery, lifting machinery and concrete beam carriers for the construction of railways.
And almost all these equipments were made in China.
"Over the years, the Chinese have become very innovative and spent a lot on research and development," Chicago's Hubscher told Xinhua.
"At first they imported a lot of equipment, but not any more. It's almost all made over there," he said. "And some of the records being broken are amazing."
In 2012, XCMG developed a 4,000-ton crawler crane, also the largest in the world, for the construction of nuclear power plants. And on Sept. 7, 2015, Sany created the record-breaking concrete pumping height of 621 meters in Tianjin.