ISTOBAL is driving its international expansion plan and opening a subsidiary in China in Jiashan County (Zhejiang Province), with a production facility for final assembly of wash equipment in the “China Guigu Science Park”. Furthermore, the subsidiary has sales offices in Shanghai (Hongqiao).
With this operation, the ISTOBAL Group has ten subsidiaries worldwide, located in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Brazil and China. In addition to its main manufacturing plant in Spain and the two assembly and final assembly plants in the USA and Brazil, the new plant in China, with 10,000 m2 and located 80 kilometres from Shanghai, is now added.
ISTOBAL therefore enters the Chinese market a year after starting its exports to this country in order to maintain a more direct business relationship with its customers and to enhance its growth. China is a growing market for technological car wash equipment for the automotive sector and is key to the strategic growth plan of the Spanish group. The company plans to increase its turnover in China by 50% this year compared to the previous year.
According to Rafael Tomas, CEO of ISTOBAL, China represents one of the areas with the greatest growth potential for the ISTOBAL Group, together with the USA, Italy and Poland. “China now has 1.4 billion inhabitants, 270 million cars and the car wash sector is relatively new. Demand has started to grow in the past 3 -5 years"- emphasised ISTOBAL CEO. He noted, "This market is already demanding equipment with more technology and reliability. ISTOBAL is therefore established as a provider of innovative 360° solutions for the car wash and car care sector in China."
ISTOBAL China aims to supply wash equipment to the whole of China and subsequently to other countries in Asia Pacific, both for the service stations and private wash facilities sector, as well as for car dealerships, car workshops, transport companies, department stores, car rental companies, public transport companies and other entities that manage vehicle fleets. The subsidiary already has several distributors and aims to cover the country's main provinces, both through distribution contracts and direct service.
Key wash solutions for the Chinese market include automatic rollovers, automatic wash tunnels and commercial vehicle wash equipment.
ISTOBAL's new subsidiary in China, ISTOBAL Vehicle Wash & Care (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd, has been established as a WFOE (Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise) under a greenfield project, led by Nacho Verdés, ISTOBAL Expansion Manager. “It's an exciting project, both in terms of the scale of the project, and the expectations and challenges it creates at a logistical, manufacturing and commercial level," says Verdés.
Chun Pan, who has extensive experience in leading international companies, consulting, corporate strategy, international trade and supply chain has been appointed CEO of the company.
The opening of this new subsidiary constitutes a new ISTOBAL operation within its expansion plan for the coming years. Last December, the group acquired its California distributor, Pacific Pride Carwash, in order to strengthen its presence in North America and to open up new market niches.
Sinopec Oil Partnership
ISTOBAL collaborates with Sinopec, one of the country's leading oil companies, which already has 60 ISTOBAL machines in its network of service stations. Collaboration will be extended during 2021 with the plan to install more than 30 more automatic car wash rollovers and tunnels.