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Swiss Precision for Chinese High-Speed Trains

For its notable successes in the expanding high-speed rail network in China, the Regensdorf company Amberg Technologies received the 2015 Export Award in the "Success" category at the Forum for Swiss Foreign Trade and Investment organized by Switzerland Global Enterprise.

If Chinese railroad engineers don't spill their coffee even at top speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, this is due not least to the high-precision rail system. This is the responsibility of Amberg Technologies from Regensdorf, a company in the Amberg Group that entered the Chinese railroad surveying market in 2005 and completely won over the local governments from the outset.

Employees Recruited with Market Knowledge

At that time, Amberg Technologies did not rush into the new market as quickly as possible with its high-quality product, but sounded out the situation for several years and deliberately employed a Chinese engineer and other experts with detailed technical and market knowledge at its head office in Switzerland. "This made a key contribution to our success in China," says Marcel Kalbermatter, CEO of Amberg Technologies, confidently. This meticulously prepared market entry also impressed the competition jury, as Pascal Ihle, deputy editor-in-chief of the Handelszeitung newspaper, confirmed at the awards ceremony.

Local Distribution Partner Wanted

To be able to sell their high-precision measuring system in China, which is used for the construction, documentation, and maintenance of the tracks, they needed to identify a suitable local distribution partner in Beijing that was recognized in the market. They found Bonanza Rail Technology, which soon set up its own team working exclusively for Amberg. And this succeeded, because the business volume in China has increased steadily and now accounts for a quarter of the turnover of Amberg Technologies, which is already mainly export-oriented, and earns 70 percent of its revenue outside Switzerland.

On Track for Growth

In the fall of 2014, the Zurich-based SME celebrated a notable landmark with the sale of the 500th measuring system in China. It is on track for further revenue growth in the next few years especially because the creation and expansion of China's rail network for state-of-the-art, high-speed trains is being developed further. Although the Chinese market is well-known for imitation products, Marcel Kalbermatter says that Amberg is prepared: "We have already been copied. But because we keep developing our measuring instruments, we are always two or three years ahead of the competition."