SHENYANG: China's machine tool manufacturer Shenyang Machine Tool Limited (SMTL) is to recall some products sold before 2000 because of quality problems, according to a senior official from the company.
SMTL President Chen Huiren said the group would give a thorough check-up, repair and even provide brand-new machine tools for customers who purchased SMTL's numerical control products up to five years ago.
Statistics from the group show that 78 out of the 152 high-end machine tools sold will be checked out, costing around 20 million yuan (US$2.5 million). The project is to be finished by the end of this year, according to Chen.
Chen said the group's products, especially those made before 2000, did have some design and quality problems.
"But now SMTL is different. This project signifies our confidence towards SMTL's products and our promise to all customers," said Chen.
SMTL had sold 716 high-end machine tools to 240 companies, costing 485 million yuan (US$60 million), by the end of this June.
Over 80 per cent of these were sold after 2000, statistics from the group show.
SMTL is one of the major machine tool research and development firms in China. Last year its sales income increased by 70 per cent to 4 billion yuan (US$493 million).
Its high-end products occupied almost one quarter of the domestic market last year.
"I have never heard of any other company recalling their machine tool products before. And I think such action shows there have been important changes in SMTL relating to confidence and responsibility," said Wu Bolin, director general of the China Machine Tool & Tool Builders' Association (CMTA).
He comments were echoed by Wang Qingbin, senior information officer from SMTL.
"Since 2000 SMTL has had a dramatic development after it renewed its management team and technology," said Wang. The group's high-end products have ranked top of the sector for the past three years.
Wang Yurong, manager from Shanxi Pingyang Heavy Machine Factory, praised SMTL's recall project and said he would choose the firm's products in the future.
China became the biggest machine tool consumer in 2002.
Last year, SMTL purchased Germany's Schiess AG, which greatly expanded its business scope and research and development capabilities.
The group's president, Chen Huiren, said the company's new high-end machine tool research and product centre is to be finished this October.