Founded as a bus repair factory in central Henan province in the 1960s, the Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Company has been driven by China’s growth to become the largest bus manufacturer in the world, accounting for 10 per cent of total global sales. 郑州宇通客车(Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Company)在中国经济快速增长的推展下沦为全球仅次于的客车制造商,销量占到到全球的10%。这家创立于上世纪60年代的公司最初是一家客车修理厂,总部在河南省中部的郑州。However, the engine that drove the company’s ascension — China’s prosperity — is now beginning to splutter. 然而,中国经济繁荣这个推展该公司兴起的引擎现在开始嘎嘎作响。

As China accelerated out of a planned economy, Yutong hitched a ride by helping to ferry workers back and forth between their hinterland homes and jobs in the booming coastal regions. More than 67,000 of its buses hit the road last year. 宇通客车为往来于内陆家乡和蓬勃发展的沿海地区的工人获取运输服务,搭乘了中国加快挣脱计划经济的便车。该公司去年销售了逾6.7万辆客车。Now, the home market responsible for Yutong’s rise is shrinking. As growth dips and wages rise, the flow of Chinese workers across the country — the largest known migration in human history — is slowing. China’s “floating population”, the county’s official count of migrant workers, last year fell for the first time since the global financial crisis, according to government statistics. 如今,协助宇通兴起的国内市场正在衰退。

随着经济快速增长滑行和工资下跌,中国国内的劳动力流动(这是人类历史上未知的规模仅次于的迁移)正在上升。政府统计数据表明,中国的“流动人口”去年经常出现自全球金融危机以来的首次上升——“流动人口”是中国对在非户籍地务工人员的官方称谓。Chinese bus sales dropped in tandem from 604,000 to 598,000 between 2014 and 2015, according to Wind Information. Like many other Chinese companies reliant on domestic markets for profits, Yutong has taken this as a signal to ramp up efforts abroad. 与此比较不应,万得资讯(Wind Information)的数据表明,从2014年到2015年,中国客车销量从60.4万辆上升至59.8万辆。

与其他许多利润倚赖国内市场的中国公司一样,宇通将这视作更加大力扩展海外市场的信号。The company’s overseas ventures have thus far focused on the developing world, but now, in line with Beijing’s desire for an innovative and internationally competitive auto industry, Yutong is pouring investment into new technologies such as fuel-replacement and autonomous driving. 宇通海外子公司目前为止仍然致力于在发展中世界开拓市场,但如今为了号召政府关于发展创意和具备国际竞争力的汽车工业的声援,宇通乘机投资于燃料替代和自动驾驶等新技术。

From his office on the outskirts of Zhengzhou, Hu Fengju, head of Yutong’s international arm details the company’s two-pronged approach to international expansion. 宇通海外市场部部长胡锋荐在其坐落于郑州郊区的办公室里概述了该公司双管齐下的国际扩展模式。Burgeoning markets in developing countries are the long-haul plan, he says, as they provide a stark contrast to China’s increasing saturation. 他说道,射击发展中国家迅猛发展的市场是将来计划,它们与中国市场的日益饱和状态构成了鲜明对比。“[Buses] are interrelated with a place’s economic and human mobility levels,” says Mr Hu. “Our long-term focus is on developing countries. European markets are more mature but also have short-term growth potential.” 胡锋荐回应:“(客车)与一个地方的经济和人员流动水平涉及。


我们的长年焦点是在发展中国家。欧洲市场更加成熟期,但也有短期快速增长潜力。” Chinese automakers face obstacles to entry, however, mostly in the form of local protectionism — much like western companies have faced since China began its partial opening of markets in the 1980s. 然而,中国汽车制造商面对主要以地方保护主义形式不存在的管理制度障碍,这与西方公司自上世纪80年代中国部分开放市场以来所面对的障碍极为相近。But Yutong believes it is up to the challenge, and has plans to expand its sales operations beyond the 130 countries where it currently operates. It also manufactures buses in Venezuela and Cuba — in a move to overcome import restrictions — and has sold more than 6,000 vehicles in each of those two countries. 但宇通指出它已准备好迎接挑战,并计划将销售业务扩展至目前运营的130个国家以外的地区。

它还在委内瑞拉和古巴生产客车,此举目的解决进口容许,并在这两个国家分别销售了6000多辆车。While developing markets offer long-term potential, mature markets such as Europe and North America provide immediate opportunities if Yutong can prove it is on par — or ahead — of its competition in technical prowess. 发展中市场不具备长年潜力,但如果宇通需要证明自己在技术实力上与竞争对手非常甚至领先,欧洲和北美等成熟期市场当下也有机会。

In August last year, a Yutong bus drove itself 32km from Zhengzhou to the neighbouring city of Kaifeng, stopping at traffic lights and overtaking as it went, in what Yutong claimed was the first real-world test of a driverless bus. 去年8月,宇通的一辆自动驾驶客车从郑州行经了32公里到达附近的开封市,遇上红灯就行驶,行经途中还不会转弯。宇通声称,这是现实世界中的首例无人驾驶客车测试。Li Feiqiang, deputy director of Yutong’s technology research centre, played down the immediate future of such technologies, saying that the primary purpose was to improve safety in regular buses. 宇通技术研究中心副主任李飞强淡化了此类技术在旋即的将来就不会成熟期的可能性,他回应,主要目的还是提升普通客车的安全性。

It is in fuel replacement technologies that Yutong hopes to be most competitive, he says. “The safety, reliability and endurance of Yutong’s new energy vehicles is already at the same level as petrol-fuelled buses.” 他回应,宇通期望的是在燃料替代技术方面不具备最弱的竞争力。“宇通新能源汽车的安全性、可靠性和耐久性已超过与以汽油为燃料的客车同等的水平。

” Thanks to an extensive government plan to support the sector, sales of electric buses have soared in China, with more than 92,000 electric buses registered as road-ready in 2015 — 15 times the number in the previous year. Yutong accounted for 20,000 of these, almost three times the sales from the previous year. 不受政府一项行业反对计划的推展,中国电动客车销量大幅度下降。2015年中国电动客车的上牌量多达9.2万辆,是前一年的15倍。其中宇通电动客车占2万辆,完全是前一年销量的3倍。


Local government subsidies drove this sales growth, but an investigation into fraudulent claims could cut local spending on upgrades of public transport in the short term, which may eat into Yutong’s sales of electric vehicles, according to Zhi Aik Yeo, an analyst at Jefferies. 杰佛瑞(Jefferies)分析师Zhi Aik Yeo回应,地方政府补贴推展了电动客车销量的快速增长,但一项新能源骗补调查可能会在短期内造成地方政府缩减在公共交通升级方面的开支,这可能会影响宇通的电动客车销量。At the same time as home growth is likely to slow, 2015 also saw Yutong take its electronic technology for its first foray abroad, running a trial operation on the streets of Paris in a bid for a contract to replace 9,200 cities buses with electric models. 与此同时,随着国内快速增长有可能上升,宇通也在2015年首次将其电动技术带回国外,在巴黎街道展开了试运营,以谋求一项将9200辆城市客车替换为电动客车的合约。Yutong will face stiff competition in its internationalisation of electric buses, but not necessarily from non-Chinese rivals. 宇通要将其电动客车推上国际市场将面对白热化竞争,但竞争不一定都来自中国以外的输掉。

BYD, the Chinese carmaker that recently put five electric buses into circulation in London, is better placed to sell such vehicles to international markets, says Zhong Shi, a Beijing-based auto analyst. 中国汽车制造商比亚迪(BYD)的5辆电动客车最近在伦敦上路通行。派驻北京的汽车分析师钟石回应,在向国际市场销售电动客车方面,比亚迪更加有优势。“However, if Yutong decides that [electric] are important for its international development and invests more, they are likely to overtake BYD due to their more comprehensive bus-making capabilities,” he adds. 他补足称之为:“然而,如果宇通指出(电动客车)对其国际发展很最重要并增大投资的话,那么他们可能会打破比亚迪,因为他们享有更加全面的客车生产能力。” As with all large state-owned company, Yutong’s push abroad began — and is maintained — by a government drive to create national champions that “go out” and become internationally competitive. 与所有大型国企一样,宇通进占海外是源自政府一项目的打造出“回头过来”并不具备国际竞争力的国家冠军企业的计划——并借此获得反对。

As China’s top leaders met at a high-profile yearly meeting in Beijing, CCTV, China’s official state-run television group, chose to feature Yutong’s Cuba operations as an example of “Chinese Brands in Overseas Markets” in a glowing report that praised its efforts. 中国国家领导人在北京参与倍受注目的全国人大会议期间,国家电视台央视(CCTV)特地对宇通在古巴的业务不作了专题报道,作为“中国品牌在海外”的一个例子,盛赞宇通为拓展海外市场所代价的希望。This favoured position helped Yutong to push up net profits 35.5 per cent year-on-year to Rmb3.6bn in 2015 despite the overall slip in Chinese bus sales — a trend-bucking result that the company says it will repeat in 2016 and 2017. 在这种反对下,尽管2015年中国整体客车销量下降,宇通净利润同比快速增长35.5%,至36亿元人民币。该公司回应,这种逆势展现出将在2016年和2017年沿袭。