Company Special: TUV SUD sees business in China as strong growth motivator

Updated: 2013-07-30 08:11

By Zhuan ti (China Daily)

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 Company Special: TUV SUD sees business in China as strong growth motivator

TUV SUD headquarters office in Germany will continue to invest in China's rail business and bring the world's leading certificating technology into the China market. Provided to China Daily

Company Special: TUV SUD sees business in China as strong growth motivator

Company pushes for safety and efficiency during development

TUV SUD, a global leading inspection, testing and certification service company, is working to support safety and efficiency during its facilitation of China's rail development.

"TUV SUD is committed to ensure safe, reliable and efficient transportation and mobility for the industry. Over the last five years, we have acquired five rail service companies," said Dirk von Wahl, president and CEO of TUV SUD, during an interview with China Daily at the 2013 Metro Safety Summit in Nanjing.

During the summit, Luo Qun, vice mayor of Nanjing municipal government, said, "We hope that TUV SUD will bring their cutting-edge rail safety philosophies and practices to Nanjing and contribute to the healthy growth of the industry moving forward."

TUV SUD also concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Southwest Jiaotong University, a prestigious institute in the field, to promote the safety and development of urban rail transit through close cooperation with companies, universities and institutions.

"Through this event, we aim to improve safety awareness in Chinese rail transit and effectively reduce operating risks," von Wahl said. "TUV SUD has consistently invested in our rail business in China, especially satisfying the high demand for testing services within the scope of metro projects in rapidly growing cities, including Nanjing."

Von Wahl said that TUV SUD established the Changzhou Jinbiao Rail Transit Technology Service Co Ltd as a joint venture in 2011. The company is the only CNAS certified professional lab in Jiangsu that specializes in flammability testing of urban rail transit non-metallic material. With rich experience in rail transit safety, TUV SUD is also devoted to providing world class rail safety certification and solutions for China's manufacturers, operators and railway authorities. With the support of TUV SUD, Shanghai Railway Communication Factory received its first IRIS certification in 2012. In May 2013, TUV SUD was given the "RT Top 50" award at the 2013 Rail Transit Global Forum.

A growing business

One of the company's focuses is in the rail business. TUV SUD provides services in the automobile, food, textile, and consumer goods industry, all of which contribute to the company's development.

With specialists who are dedicated, responsible, and have a wide range of industry expertise, TUV SUD develops one-stop solutions that optimize technology and systems, while focusing on the entire value-added chain.

As a leading technical provider, TUV SUD brings together people, technology and the environment, with a long-term perspective, in a value-adding and sustainable manner. "Values and Responsibility" is the core service philosophy of TUV SUD, which is also the standard that shaped the company's work since it was founded almost 150 years ago.

According to the 2012 annual report, the company saw significant growth in 2012, reaching record levels in revenue, earnings and headcount. During the fiscal year 2012, the technical services company increased its revenue by almost 9 percent to 1.82 billion euros ($2.43 billion) compared to the 1.68 billion euros earned in 2011. The number of people working for the company worldwide also grew to almost 19,000, an increase of 1,600.

"Take China, for example, it is found that the extent of the Chinese awareness of companies' safety practices has increased significantly since five years ago," von Wahl said. "Accordingly, the demand for safety testing and related technical solutions tends to grow to meet more and more complicated standards and requirements, which make them less sensitive to the challenging economic environment."

"It is worth noting that international business continues to be our growth motivator, and we are turning into a global player at an increasing rate. In 2012, our revenue generated from abroad grew by 106 million euros, almost three times the increase in revenue in Germany," said von Wahl, noting that TUV SUD generated 38 percent of its revenue outside of Germany, an increase of 3 percent from the previous year.

TUV SUD has 800 locations around the world and is constantly expanding its international presence in order to remain close to their customers. The company is also laying its foundation to continue profitable growth, aiming to be both a reliable and strong partner.

Going global

TUV SUD achieved further growth, particularly in India and China. China is TUV SUD's second largest market next to Germany, making China the largest overseas market.

The company began its business in China in the early 90s when the country began the development of foreign trade and export industries.

To date, TUV SUD established more than 40 satellite offices across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with around 2,100 employees, 70 percent of which are dedicated engineers.

TUV SUD has partnered with 20,000 companies in China and has experienced rapid revenue growth over several years. In addition, TUV SUD constantly pays attention to the industry development trends and pledges to offer cutting-edge technical support at the same pace as the Chinese clients' developments.

To further strengthen the competitive advantage in China, TUV SUD will continue to invest in hardware and meet customer's demands for development.

TUV SUD in Shanghai set up a large testing center last year with an integrated testing capability for customers to reduce testing costs, and efficiently implemented a one-stop service at the same time.

TUV SUD also has many different training mechanisms, allowing employees to ensure their continued market competitiveness and to gain the latest international technical knowledge.

Because China is considered the strategic center of business development, TUV SUD is always looking for ways to incorporate Germany's leading technology into the China market.

"The common practice is to engage engineers from Germany in the local business to combine European leading technology with the strategy of localization. By this means, we bring both the world's leading certificating technology and European's advanced concepts into the China market, which forms a technology transferring process of expansion and continuity," he said.

TUV SUD plans to focus on its development in the Chinese market by selecting those with professional backgrounds in the industry and offering training to help them understand European certificating technology and methodologies, continuously strengthening their professional skills, and ultimately ensuring quality and safety. In this sense, the certifications awarded by TUV SUD in China and in foreign markets have the equivalent effect and standard.

New energy

China is experiencing rapid economic development and faces more energy pressures in comparison to the United States and Europe.

The Chinese government and enterprises are working together to balance economic growth with energy efficiency and sustainability.

In recent years, the Chinese government has made it a priority to introduce policies that support green initiatives.

"As China is changing the developing mode of industry, quickly reacting to the changing market demands is also one of the main reasons for our strategic changes," von Wahl said.

"In recent years, TUV SUD has worked incredibly hard on the development of electric vehicles, new energy and energy efficiency management, and we are supporting the green energy industry in China."

In the field of electric automobiles, von Wahl said, "TUV SUD is based in southern Germany, a hub of premium automotive manufacturers. In Germany alone, we predict that there will be over 1 million electric or hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020, while there will be at least 10 million of such vehicles worldwide. TUV SUD has been actively involved in the safe development of electro-mobility and has been a pioneer partner in many important developments."

(China Daily USA 07/30/2013 page14)