Japan Transport Engineering is off to a fast start as it takes its stainless steel commuter cars overseas.
The subsidiary of JR East, eastern Japan’s main railway operator, will provide train cars for a Bangkok railway project being handled by a Japanese consortium of JR East, trading house Marubeni and electronics and machinery maker Toshiba.
The project represents the first major overseas order for Japan Transport since 2004; it is also expected to put the company’s Sustina stainless steel cars on foreign rails for the first time.
Japan Transport is now ramping up its overseas operations in the hope of winning more orders. Over the past year, Japan Transport has doubled its staff in charge of overseas operations.
The company has increased staff for a section set up last December to analyze overseas bidding terms. It has added a combined more than 20 workers to that division and to its overseas marketing section via an in-house posting system and by accepting officials dispatched from as JR East, with whom it is collaborating.
Previously, Japan Transport had an overseas staff of less than 10; it maintained railcars sold to other countries.
Japan Transport will initially bid only on Asian projects, then expand into Europe and the U.S. It will also widen its cooperative ties with JR East to win orders for railway systems and to provide maintenance services.
To prepare for price competition with foreign rivals, Japan Transport will use more common parts across the Sustina line, cut the number of manufacturing stages and automate production lines.
Japan Transport will market its cars’ reliability as it tries to win international business. President Naoto Miyashita also said he will stress how his company’s railcars “support Tokyo’s transit system.”
Source : Nikkei