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Premier Li Keqiang calls for ‘jumbo’ train manufacturer

Updated: Apr 10,2015 3:55 PM

Premier Li Keqiang called for a combined “jumbo” train maker to improve global market competitiveness.

He made the comments on April 10 during a visit to China’s largest urban rail manufacturing plant, CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co.,in Changchun, Jilin province, ahead of the merger of the country’s top two high-speed train manufacturers.

The upcoming merger of CNR and CSR Corp will see the establishment of a “combined fleet” in the train manufacturing industry and it will give Chinese companies a greater advantage to compete for a bigger share of the global market, the Premier said.

CNR is the manufacturer of almost half of China’s subway and urban rail equipment.

“The merger of CNR and CSR will establish a jumbo, which includes not only locomotive manufacturing but also supporting industries,” Li said as he inspected the assembly line of urban railways at the Changchun plant.

He also asked the corporate leader to avoid cut-throat competition, and called for coordination in exploring the global market.

CNR and CSR announced last month that their merger plan has passed overseas scrutiny, which means existing overseas projects will not be affected by the move.

Xi Guohua, president of CNR, said workers at the company regard the Premier as a “super salesperson” for Chinese rail equipment and a colleague of the company - due to his dedication to promoting the country’s rail equipment overseas.

CNR signed a contract worth 4.1 billion yuan ($645 million) with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to supply 284 subway cars to Boston, and the company is also set to deliver multiple electric units and subway trains to Brazil for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

CNR and CSR have reported net profit of 5.49 billion yuan and 5.32 billion yuan, respectively, in 2014, up 33 and 28 percent.

In the last decade, China has built more than 12,000 kilometers of railway track around the country.