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SINOTRUK HOWO: 20 Years of Ingenious Journey

JINAN, China, July 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — 20 years is enough time for an industry to undergo profound changes, and the heavy-duty truck industry is no exception. During the past two decades, many once brilliant heavy-duty truck brands have gradually faded away, disappearing into the currents of the market. However, amidst this widespread transformation, there are always some exceptions that can swim against the tide. HOWO, a brand of SINOTRUK, after being tempered by time, shines even more brightly.

Quantity equals justice. As the first single brand in the domestic truck industry to produce and sell over 2 million units, HOWO is rightly the “king of sales”. Overseas, the HOWO brand has made crucial contributions to SINOTRUK ‘s being the top exporter for consecutive years.

HOWO is more than just a name; it’s a legend.

HOWO‘s 20 Years of “Endless ExplorationYields Abundant Results

The birth of HOWO coincided with the heyday of China’s heavy-duty truck industry. From 2000 to 2002, China’s heavy-duty truck market experienced a three-year boom, characterized by rapid growth. It was against this backdrop that SINOTRUK quickly realized the need to seize this historic opportunity. As a result, the company set ambitious production and sales targets, aiming to achieve 35,000 units by 2004, 70,000 units by 2007, and 100,000 units by 2010.

After a year of meticulous construction, on October 28, 2004, the first HOWO truck rolled off the assembly line at SINOTRUK Jinan Heavy Truck Co., Ltd.’s new assembly line. From then on, China’s heavy-duty truck manufacturing technology began to align with international standards. From the domestically widest interior cabin, to domestically pioneering technologies approaching or reaching international standards such as engine combustion control and vehicle electrical circuit control, and further to the world’s largest single-stage reduction axle and China’s highest-level intelligent main control system, HOWO gained fame with numerous “firsts”, “leading”, and “original” innovations. It exceeded ten thousand units in its first year of production and sales, surpassed 20,000 units in 2006, accounting for one-third of SINOTRUK’s total annual sales, and began exporting in bulk overseas.

HOWO-7, upon its inception, became China’s most advanced heavy-duty truck. Subsequently, the launch of HOWO-A7 not only consolidated SINOTRUK’s years of technological accumulation and innovation but also became the pinnacle of domestic heavy-duty trucks, leading China’s heavy-duty truck industry towards advanced global standards. The HOWO TH7 not only features the globally unique worry-free automatic transmission but also, together with the HOWO MAX, is equipped with a 590-horsepower natural gas engine boasting a high thermal efficiency of up to 54.16%. This combination marks the beginning of the era of high-horsepower gas-powered vehicles. As the world’s first L4-level fully electric autonomous container truck, the HOWO T5G intelligent connected vehicle commenced trial operations at Tianjin Port, setting an industry record. Together with China’s I-generation intelligent truck HOWO T7H, which was launched 14 days later, they jointly heralded the arrival of the intelligent era for China’s domestic heavy-duty trucks.

Customer Trust Comes from Refined Craftsmanship

The shoulders of giants are not smooth. HOWO stands firm because it excels at introducing, absorbing, and making use of technological advancements, laying a smooth path on the shoulders of giants. In 2003, SINOTRUK introduced Volvo’s heavy-duty truck technology, giving birth to the HOWO series. The series mastered Volvo’s technological essence, with cabin safety meeting the world’s most stringent requirements. It innovatively introduced a four-point suspension system and world-class air suspension damping, achieving optimal shock absorption on any road conditions.

In 2009, SINOTRUK once again introduced foreign heavy-duty truck technology, this time from MAN in Germany. During the collaboration, SINOTRUK assimilated and absorbed the complete set of advanced technologies from MAN in engines, axles, and entire vehicles. The engines produced with MAN technology were 15 years ahead of the mainstream global standards at that time. At the same time, the collaborative products inherited HOWO’s adaptability to Chinese and developing countries’ operating conditions, as well as their high cost-effectiveness, laying the foundation for the implementation of advanced technologies.

In addition, SINOTRUK learned from MAN’s development approach, business processes, production techniques, management methods, and their commitment to excellence and diligent work ethic. At that time, many joint ventures and collaborations faced the issue of “discounting”: they could produce excellent prototype vehicles, but struggled to consistently meet standards during mass production. SINOTRUK and MAN realized that the key issues lay in management. Both parties placed high emphasis on production consistency, providing batch-by-batch technical training and support for every major component and assembly. Regarding quality, multiple “quality control checkpoints” were established, and each of SINOTRUK’s factories gradually implemented quality enhancement management concepts, striving to create high-quality collaborative products.

After three years of hard work, by the end of 2012, the HOWO T7H and HOWO T5G, equipped with MAN technology engines, single-stage reduction axles, and related assemblies, were unveiled. They were launched in early 2013 and became flagship products of SINOTRUK. In the harsh winter of 2015 for the heavy-duty truck market, sales of the HOWO T7H increased by 97.38% year-on-year, while the HOWO T5G saw an even higher increase of 130.23%.

From towering technological achievements to sweeping sales success, HOWO not only shouldered the heavy responsibility of SINOTRUK’s sales but also, with its international comprehensive capabilities, cured China’s heavy-duty truck industry of its “fear of heights” towards global giants. It accelerated the industry’s high-end transformation, ushering in a new chapter of “Made in China” replacing imports.

Truly Excellent Products Appreciated Worldwide

Elevating “Made in China” to world-class standards and showcasing “Made in China” to the world. Starting its overseas expansion in 2004, by 2023, SINOTRUK’s export volume of heavy-duty trucks has dominated half of the industry. Some may attribute the fact that half of the heavy-duty truck exports belongs to SINOTRUK to “first come, first served.” However, going global has never been a shortcut. Without sustainable advantages, it will eventually lead to a situation of “starting early but arriving late.” In the process of expanding its global presence, HOWO has earned high trust from overseas customers through its strength, innovation, and profound understanding of their needs.

In many overseas projects where Chinese companies outsource earthwork engineering, it was found that contractors often struggle to deliver on time. This is mainly due to low equipment utilization rates and inadequate service. However, HOWO, born from European technology and adapted through localized development according to local needs, has gained a reputation for reliability and minimal after-sales issues. It has become a cornerstone for many flagship projects and a synonym for “Chinese trucks.”

Building on this foundation, HOWO continues to make improvements according to local regulatory requirements and usage habits. In 2012, 2000 units of HOWO A7 trucks equipped with Euro V engines were exported to Brazil. This marked the first large-scale export of heavy-duty trucks from China meeting National (Euro) IV emission standards or higher. In June 2013, HOWO A7, independently innovated by SINOTRUK with full intellectual property rights, broke the monopoly of international heavy truck brands like Scania and entered Hong Kong, which historically enforces the strictest automotive fuel and exhaust emission standards. In 2017, HOWO achieved bulk exports to Ireland, signifying that HOWO, representing Chinese heavy-duty trucks, had passed comprehensive inspections in Europe, known as the “homeland of trucks.” With high technological standards, reliability, and consistent production quality, it reshaped the global perception of Chinese heavy-duty trucks and opened up limitless opportunities for future endeavors.

Looking back from the year 2024 to 2004, one can see that HOWO’s brilliant two decades of success were not accidental. Behind this success lies the mission of national heavy-duty trucks, an open-minded attitude towards win-win cooperation, and the commitment to “taking proactive action in all endeavors.” These are the origins of its journey so far and the confidence it has in shaping its future.

SINOTRUK's I-Generation Smart Truck HOWO T7H

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