Golden Dragon Bus in Russia, the First Year of the Pioneer

10 years ago, the China's bus industry marched in overseas market, creating quite a stir, until the financial crisis of 2008. Then since 2010, China's bus industry started to recover from the economic crisis and begin once again to expand overseas. The ups and downs of Golden Dragon in Russia's market can be regarded as a microcosm of the whole process of China's bus industry penetrating into overseas market.

In January 2013, Golden Dragon set up its overseas subsidiary in Russia, the first overseas subsidiary in China's bus industry. This created a new pattern for China's bus industry in overseas market. It's been one year since the Russian subsidiary was established. In a person's life, one year old is a toddling and babbling period. But for an enterprise full of ambitions, one year old is a period filled with exploration and hope, struggles and success.

So what has the Russian subsidiary done in this one year? Recently, the reporter interviewed the general manager Bao Hongquan and the deputy general manager Ju Jiang of Golden Dragon's Overseas Sales Company, sharing the history of Golden Dragon's breaking through in overseas market.

                            Bao Hongquan, GM of Golden Dragon's Overseas Sales Company


The "recovery growth" of the ace in export


Starting from 2003, Golden Dragon's export business reached its peak in 2007, with an aggregate amount of $ 143 million, more than 1 billion yuan at the exchange rates of that time, topping the export in China's bus industry. After 2008, the export began to decline sharply due to various reasons including the financial crisis, and in 2009, its aggregate amount was less than $ 15 million.

Falling into the bottom from the peak, Golden Dragon began to re-sort the overseas market, adjusting the layout and structure of the overseas market. After its re-sail , the overseas sales soared to $ 67 million in 2011, $ 98 million in 2012, and 2013 over $ 100 million in2013. "Now the sales growth in overseas market for us is actually 'recovery growth'."

Mr. Bao said. Golden Dragon's export targets used to be the Middle East, Russia and South Africa. Now Africa became its largest market, with central and southern America's markets sprouting.

                1200 units light vans were shipped to Egypt.


"The competition of light vehicles is very intense both at home and abroad. In the overseas market, the profit is very low when we have so many competitors including the second-hand vehicles from countries like Japan. Relatively large vehicles would be better, even though the competition from domestic enterprises is also very fierce. Faced with this situation, differentiated strategy was adopted in overseas market. We mainly export large vehicles with higher configurations to avoid the competition with low-end models from some domestic enterprises. This is also consistent with our brand image and will help us last longer in this market. The overseas customers' growing awareness of China's bus brands and their operating pressure in the wake of the financial crisis lead to more careful examination before the actual purchase."

 Golden Dragon, valuing its product quality, customer service, and brand image, experienced steady expansion in the overseas market.


To start from below 0


Russia is a representative overseas market of Golden Dragon's. Golden Dragon used to have a few achievements in Russia. Since its first contact in 2005, the sales of model XML6117 reached 800 sales. At that time in St.Petersburg, the new buses of Russia's Third Bus Company were almost all from Golden Dragon. However, later in Russia's market, Golden Dragon paid heavily for the reckless of its partner.

              Golden Dragon XML6155


"In accordance with Russian regulations, imported buses must be certified by Russia, which means every bus has to get this 'certification' in order to sell. And their regulations require that the application must be submitted by a local company and the certification will be owned by the local company. This is different from other European countries, where the certification could belong to the manufacturer. In such regulations, we had to cooperate with local distributors for the certification, sharing the costs." The deputy general manager of Golden Dragon's Overseas Sales Company Ju Jiang told us. Golden Dragon's cooperation with its distributor was initially very smooth. The market was quickly opened, new buses arriving at Russia in a steady flow.