Swiss injection machine maker Netstal-Maschinen AG called itself a ``latecomer'' to China, but the firm has its own perspective on the growing market.
Six years after establishing a sales office in China, the NÃ¤fels, Switzerland-based company just launched its Chinese subsidiary, Netstal China Ltd., in April. Its four sales representatives in Shanghai are respectively in charge of the northern, central, and southern parts of China as well as the optical media segment.
``As we made late the start-up with our own subsidiary, we have to do a lot of basic work in the market,'' said spokesman Reto Morger in NÃ¤fels.
Currently 15 staffers work in an 18,300-square-foot site in Shanghai, where the company offers machine demonstrations and worker training. Netstal machines all are made in Switzerland. Morger said the firm also is setting up facilities for sales and service.
Netstal China is targeting customers that intend to comply with Western standards in the packaging market, making PET preforms, and in the optical disc industry. Most customers are subsidiaries of multinational molders and recently established firms.
``We are not trying to catch up with all Chinese molders,'' he said.
Netstal has installed about 440 injection molding machines in China for optical media manufacturers. Most of them were sold to so-called ``integrators'' - downstream producers for optical discs, Morger said.
``We feel an overcapacity of optical media production in China,'' he said. More and more Chinese companies are joining the business of making DVDs and CD/DVD-Rs, but ``these formats already have a large production capacity,'' he said.
To compete on costs, many Chinese companies use low-end machines, he said. Quality requirements will drive these molders to higher-end injection machines, especially when new formats like high- definition digital and Blu-ray hit the market, Morger said.