Sumitomo S.H.I. Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. marketing general manager Yasuhiro Akazaki
Sumitomo bullish on sales prospects
(The Philippine Star) - February 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Japan-based Sumitomo Group is banking on the superior technology and features of its products in cornering a bigger share of the robustly growing Philippine construction market. 

Sumitomo S.H.I. Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. marketing general manager Yasuhiro Akazaki said the company is now focusing its marketing efforts in the Philippines on two niche products: the excavator and asphalt paver.

Akazaki said Sumitomo is confident of doing well in these product categories once the market is made fully aware of their superior features.

“What separates Sumitomo’s excavator from the rest is its drivability. It’s very simple to control the excavator itself, and it is very fuel efficient compared to those of the other big makers. Sumitomo is also working hard in continuously improving the safety features of the excavator,” he stressed. “And for the asphalt paver, you can see the difference when you actually lay the asphalts. It’s the flatness; it’s a very precise flatness.”

Sumitomo, however, recognizes that being a newcomer in the Philippine market, the company needs to ramp up its marketing efforts to increase awareness for its products. 

“The most important aspect that we need to focus on in the Philippines today and the near future is the awareness for the brand. The products are already here. We already have two major products selling in the Philippines. So, to actually boost the sales, the main part is to increase the awareness for the brand and the products,” Akazaki emphasized. 

Among the initiatives they have identified are Sumitomo’s participation in as much construction-related exhibitions and expo as possible, awareness campaigns through the media, sending of direct emails to target customers, and holding of special events like the one the company did with Lego. A certified Lego builder came to the Philippines recently for a Sumitomo event where she created an excavator out of Lego blocks.

Sumitomo exhibited its products anew at the Philconstruct Manila Expo 2019 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Through the expo, Akazaki said trade buyers and attendees got to personally see the products. “We connected with the customers who visited the Sumitomo booth and answered their queries. Philconstruct is one good way to actually spread awareness and, at the same time, the customers got to see and touch the excavator. Too bad they could not test drive it, but at least they knew how it looks like,” he said.

Sumitomo is bullish on the company’s growth prospects in the Philippines, with the construction sector rapidly expanding due to the increased spending from the government and the private sector.

As the construction sector grows, Akazaki said builders will naturally be seeking new technologies to improve efficiency and safety. “This is the advantage of Sumitomo lies. We will be bringing in new technology to ease the operation of our customers in their construction sites.”

Sumitomo has the capacity to sell approximately 13,000 hydraulic extractors and 300 asphalt pavers in a year. These products are distributed in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.

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