EP Equipment has a global dealership network that extends across the world and within each of these global markets, the place that EP holds and the products that serve the market the best varies. Cayrus, is EP’s Russian Distributor and has been well-established in the Russian market for over 20 years operating largely in the Northwest.
Having worked with many big named brands, Head of Sales at Cayrus Andrey Korbut and the Cayrus team had established the brand specifically to partner with EP and first visited the EP factory in 2008. They then made the decision to partner exclusively with EP and have doubled their team and turnover since joining the EP family.
EP Equipment Sales Manager Rick Chou has worked with Cayrus throughout their entire EP journey. Rick describes Cayrus as ‘A dedicated EP Partner that has significantly contributed to the awareness of EP Equipment in Russia over the last 3 years. Their commitment to EP and the values that surround the EP brand are second to none and their success with the EP product is a testament to their knowledge of the industry and the Russian material handling market.’
EP’s Marketing and Community Manager Katie sat down with Andrey to find out more about EP’s place in the challenging Russian material handling world, how Cayrus operates with EP, and their success so far.
Tell me about the history of Cayrus, what is your story so far?
The core of the team was created in 2001. At this time we were selling used equipment imported from the EU and we had started gaining experience with local Chinese distributors. In 2008 we decided to create a company to work with Chinese manufacturers directly and this is when Cayrus was formed. At this time, along side Cayrus, we continued to import used equipment from Europe and sell new equipment manufactured by other brands such as Jungheinrich and Toyota.
In 2008 the price difference between Chinese manufactured equipment and other more well established brands wasn’t so large, but of course quality and reputation have played against Chinese Manufacturers in the past. However, in 2016 the Russian Government introduced the Utilisation Fee which had a negative impact on the importation of used equipment with price increases of up to 100%. After this was implemented, as a local Russian used equipment business we had far less access to quality trucks in comparison to when we could import more freely.
By 2016-2018 several premium brands had established their production lines in China and for this reason the quality of Chinese equipment has increased leading us to focus specifically on the sale of new EP Equipment.
Why did you choose EP and how have we grown together so far?
Since making the sale of new EP our priority our team has doubled in size. We now have offices in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar and Rostov where we sell the EP product to both end users and other dealers at a 50/50 split.
We were introduced to EP when we were in the process of transitioning and looking for a new brand. Not long after Cayrus was established we visited the EP factory to sign a cooperation agreement.
The dualist of EP took us by surprise. In Russia there is often a stigma around the quality of Chinese manufactured equipment but with EP this was not an issue and so we started our EP journey with the IC T-Series.
At the time we were focusing mainly on Diesel Forklift Trucks as the Russian market to this day has a huge demand for diesel machines and the IC trucks offered by EP impressed our team. Although IC trucks are dominant in the market, since 2016 there has certainly been a growing demand from customers for lithium-ion powered trucks. Our decision to commit to the EP brand allowed us to target all of the different areas of the Russian market under one brand name, EP Equipment.
Can you tell me about the Russian material handling market?
The Russian market has always been reliant on IC trucks but the transition to lithium power was really sped up as more and more European brands operating in Russia began to go electric with their fleet. The Russian businesses are happy to stick with Diesel but customers of mine like Carlsberg and Toyota Motor are Lithium only. The demand for electric equipment in Russia has boomed as more and more European brands influence the market and people begin to understand the benefits of lithium power.
New laws in Russia also restrict the use of diesel-powered machines in certain industries, such as the food and paper industries, meaning that electric is the only way forward for these companies. Also, understandably, industries that handle explosive materials are benefitting hugely from the switch from diesel to lithium.
The main challenge of the Russian market is that many businesses have not been educated on the benefits of lithium-ion, not only for the environment but for their business too. Dominant Russian brands are often too focused on choosing big popular brand names with no regard to the capabilities of the machine itself. It is my job now to show the end user that EP can give them what they need on a basic level but also offer them so much more that they may not even know is possible. I often ask my customers who are closed off to Chinese brands why they are closed off when premium brands are so often manufactured in China or using Chinese parts anyway! The end user is often not fully educated on where brands are sourcing parts from and manufacturing their machines. EP doesn’t need to hide their roots because being manufactured in China doesn’t compromise on their quality.
Why do you think EP works for the Russian Market?
EP makes products that are good quality at a reasonable price. At Cayrus we are finding that other brands can be double the price of EP so it makes sense to offer the EP products to our customers. As I explained, in the Russian market the transition to lithium is still very new. The ability to offer IC trucks and Lithium trucks that are both high quality products under the same brand name is important to us as a dealer and to our customers. Consistency is key and this is what Cayrus needs for success in the Russian market.
The Russian material handling market is always growing. An average year for the market is usually 24,000 machines but this year according to WITS by June over 17,000 machines had been sold putting Russia on track for highs of around 30,000. This means dealers need to work with manufacturers that can keep up with the individual markets they operate in and this is something the EP Equipment does well.
What do you like the most about working with EP?
Also when you sell Chinese brands in Russia you cannot sell air… you must show the customer what they are working with so they can see the quality for themselves, then often I sell the trucks immediately. That’s why we continuously update our stock trucks to reflect demand with great support from the EP factory
Currently we have an EPT 25WA in a Toyota Motor factory. This is something that makes me smile as it shows the quality and performance of the EP product. Normally Toyota Motor prefers to stick with their own brand, but EP has worked perfectly for what they needed. Coming from being a Toyota dealer to an EP dealer this feels almost full circle to me.
What products or services do you like the most and why?
For me I love the EP Pallet Trucks like the EPL154. The quality of these trucks are great and the price is even better! I recently sold 5 units after giving them to a work yard on demo. The Simple use and the power of the truck really stands out.
For Forklifts the EFL series is what shines for me personally. Even though customers may prefer IC in Russia, I am a fan of Lithium-Ion. I have specialised customers in the Northwest that work in the timber industry, and they love the simple use and affordable costs of the IC trucks, but the benefits of the Lithium-Ion products shine in the food industry here in Russia and are definitely my personal favourite.
How is EP different from other brands you have worked with in the past?
Cayrus is a medium sized company in the Russian market, and we are always looking to grow, this is possible with EP in ways that it is not possible with other brands. The awareness of EP has grown quite a lot in recent years in Russia, but the EP portfolio is always expanding and the expertise of the EP team regarding lithium-ion is something we have never seen before and is unmatched by other brands. As we work together with EP in the early stages of the brand in the Russian market, Cayrus and EP can grow together. The strengths of both of our brands can help and support each other in a market that needs what the EP product provides with a dealer and service that they trust.
Have you got anything exciting coming up?
We have doubled our turnover compared to last year and at Cayrus we have plans to keep moving forward. We are opening more offices, employing more people, and continuing our EP journey!
If you want to join the lithium-ion revolution and be part of our EP Global dealer network contact our team today: firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.cayrus.ru/ Instagram: cayrus_forklift
Address: 193143, Russia, Leningradskaya oblast, Novosaratovka, Polevaya str., area 13.