Wuzheng – Chinese Trucks in North America
We finally got around to talking to Mr. Micheal Papp, the CEO of Wuzheng North America, the importers, and dealers of the Chinese designed and produced, Wuzheng trucks, which are made quite locally to China Car Times, believe it or not. Wuzheng trucks seem to be making quite a splash in the US trucking world, especially with their good quality and low price tags. Check out the article below, click read more if youre coming to see more!
Heres what Micheal Papp, CEO of Wuzheng North America had to say:
CCT: Whats your background, where do you come from and what have yo
done for a living before you started selling Chinese trucks?
My name is Michael Papp, born & raised on the East Coast of the United States,
specifically New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Self-employed since in my early teens,
I worked with my parents & brother in a family business for over 20 years. My
professional background is primarily in commercial finance, residential finance,
and, in recent years, construction and development. It was my association with
the construction trade that introduced me to trucks manufactured in China.
CCT: Who/What is Wuzheng?
Shandong Wuzheng Agricultural Vehicle Co., Ltd. has been making equipment
since 1962. In 2005, we began negotiations to distribute their vehicles in North America. Wuzheng North America, LTD was formed to handle the
distribution/sales/modifications & options necessary to market these vehicles in the USA and the rest of North America.
CCT: What kind of trucks do you sell big heavy trucks or smaller ranch style pick up trucks?
Wuzheng NA will import and market trucks in the 10,000 to 30,000 pound GVW range. Pickup trucks, mini pick-ups are not the market we are interested in, and this segment is well covered by other manufacturers.
CCT: Whats your relationship to Wuzheng China?
Wuzheng NA currently holds the exclusive rights to market the Wuzheng brand in North America.
CCT: Why do you sell Chinese trucks specifically, surely there brands in South America that are comparable?
Not that I am aware of.
CCT: What are the major obstacles in importing Chinese made vehicles? Interestingly, the major obstacles have nothing to do with the actual vehicles
themselves. Most of the initial work was simply overcoming the universal attitude of It cannot be done! The mechanics of the import (EPA, DOT, NHTS
compliance) although difficult, are relatively strait forward Â¡Â§C they either comply or they do not. Peoples attitudes regarding a new brand, someone looking right at the truck telling me that just isnt possible, those are the frustrating aspects
THE major obstacle we are tackling right now is finding qualified distributors. We do not charge for a territory, nor do we charge a license, we look for a potential distributor who has the financial ability to commit in a manner this venture deserves. Everyone wants a piece of this, but few have demonstrated the ability, no matter how willing they are. It has been frustrating.
CCT: Do you believe that many of your potential customers are cautious about buying Chinese made things, in the (false) belief that Chinese manufacturing is of lower quality?
There is no question that there is a quality concern, justified or not. However, I can tell you what happens every single time a potential buyer is told about or
takes a look at these vehicles. And I mean 99 times out of 100, so much so that we have tailored or presentations around it;
First, the buyer smiles, chuckles, hearing that this Truck they are looking at is the first Chinese-Manufactured vehicle in the US. Most of the time, some joking is made regarding the Chinese writing, the name !Â¡Â£Wuzheng!Â¡; we just stand there smiling.
Next comes the comments about quality it must be junk, they say. They begin
to crawl in, on, under the vehicle. The chuckling, smiling on the buyers face
fades into raised eyebrows. Our smile widens.
How much is this truck?!they ask. $19,500. How much extra is the dump?!
they inquire. That is included, we answer. How much extra for the turbo diesel? Toolbox? ABS system?! All included.
Japanese-manufactured items had the same stigma for years. Look at a Toyota now. Look at Sony, we tell them. Easiest sale in the world.
CCT: Do you think that patriotism comes into a purchase in the trucking business, or is it solely based on price and quality?
I think that patriotism comes into play much more so in the trucking business than in the passenger vehicle market, without any doubt. There is a very strong tendency on the part of some fleet buyers, some potential distributors, to not even look at a Chinese-manufactured truck, no matter what the price.
It is very important to understand the following; This venture began to form in my mind years ago when my construction company was in the market to purchase a number of work trucks. I knew I needed diesel, heavy-duty, dumps, a work truck. A comparable US-Manufactured vehicle to our Series 5 truck starts at $38,000+. Fully equipped with what we needed pushed the price to over $50,000. For one truck. If I am going to spend $50,000 for a work vehicle, it better come with a driver permanently planted in the drivers seat.
My point is this; I love US manufactured trucks. The dodge dually crew-cab with turbo diesel? My dream vehicle, always has been. But at $50,000 plus? It will stay in the dream category, because there is no way I will spend that amount of money on what for me is essentially a tool, something I!Â¡Â¥m going to haul lumber or gravel in, something Im going to get dirty.
When potential buyers see the price of this truck, fully loaded at less than $20,000, patriotism tends to take second place to common sense. If the US were able to market a comparable truck for the same price, there would be no Wuzheng NA.
CCT: What do the customers that bought Wuzheng trucks think of them so far?
We are roughly 3 months into selling to end-users. The follow up that we have performed gained responses that have been overwhelmingly positive. There is no doubt, no question at all, that there will arise issues. We are prepared for these issues, with one goal in mind Â¡Â§C make the customer happy that they purchased a Wuzheng.
CCT: How do Wuzheng trucks compare to their American rivals in terms of price and quality?
There are absolutely no true comparables, which is why we are so comfortable in this segment. Here is why; Find a truck with comparable features, a cab-over Izuzu, Mitsubishi Fuso, GMC, whatever. All very similar trucks, and all cost 2-3 times as much as one of our Series 5 trucks. We are not talking 10% less, or 30% less in price we are talking less than half the price. Looking at it from the price standpoint, line up every truck marketed the US with a GVW over 10,000lbs priced under $30,000. It would be easy, because there are none, with the exception of Wuzheng.
CCT: Do you think that in the future, Wuzheng trucks could potentially rival the big American truck brands like Ford, Dodge etc?
Not at all, it just simply isnt possible. The Big Three have an entire vehicle lineup (which we do not intend to have) where they try to focus on every possible marketing segment. We only have, and only want, one segment.
Furthermore the focus of the big three is more style than functionality. What
other country in the world can you purchase three different variants of a
civilianized military vehicle because its cool whose only off-roading, ever, will be to pull into a driveway? In 5 years, when the Hummer H7 or H9 is out, our truck will appear in almost exactly the same style/form.
CCT: What are your hopes for the future of Wuzheng in North America?
Satisfaction would come simply from name recognition, and, more specifically,
having people know that Wuzheng is just a very good truck at a very good price, well serviced and backed by Wuzheng NA.