Robots work at a Sany Heavy Industry plant in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan province, on Feb 20, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHANGHAI – China’s leading heavy-equipment manufacturer Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd sold 98,705 units of excavators in 2020, the company said on Monday.

According to excavator market consultancy Off-Highway Research, Sany’s excavator sales accounted for 15 percent of the global market share in 2020, ranking first in the world.

Excavator sales have been widely cited as an important indicator of the vitality of an economy, as demand is usually backed by growth in mining and infrastructure development. Sany’s 2020 excavator sales show that the motor of China’s economic growth has remained strong despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

“The domestic market accounts for about 90 percent of Sany’s total 2020 sales,” said Xiang Wenbo, president of Sany, adding that sales have been robust since China effectively contained the epidemic and stimulated the economic recovery last year.

The company on Monday unveiled a new-generation intelligent excavator, SY375IDS, which is equipped with a 1.9-cubic meter bucket and an electronically controlled hydraulic system.

Boosted with 5G remote-control technology, the product can operate unmanned in dangerous and complex conditions.

Sany’s overseas sales exceeded 10,000 units in 2020, with year-on-year growth of more than 30 percent. The share of excavators in major markets such as North America, Europe and India increased significantly, while bright spots were seen in the Southeast Asian market.

“We hope to achieve the goal of $10 billion in overseas sales by around 2025,” said Xiang.