One million and counting

One million is a significant number. It’s reason enough to gather everyone together for a celebration. And that’s exactly what KONE employees in China did when it was time to send off their millionth delivery – an elevator headed for a new airport terminal.

January 22, 2020

The lucky millionth product that left the KONE Kunshan factory on January 6 was a KONE MonoSpace® elevator – one of the 68 elevators, escalators and autowalks that will serve passengers at China’s Kunming Changshui International Airport’s terminal S1, which is expected to open at the end of this year.

Kunming Changshui International Airport in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province is one of the top 100 airports in the world. In 2019, it also ranked as the sixth busiest airport in China and it is the country’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified green airport.

To keep things running smoothly in this busy hub that serves as China’s gateway to Southeast Asia, the airport’s existing terminal features 135 KONE elevators and autowalks as well as the KONE 24/7 Connected Services predictive maintenance solution. It detects deviations in equipment performance and allows faults to be fixed before they result in elevator or escalator downtime.

“We are honored to take the millionth elevator into use at our new terminal. KONE’s equipment and service have served the airport well, in an environment where efficient and secure people flow is most important. I look forward to continuing cooperation with KONE as we continue to grow and expand our airport operations,” says Jiang Wenzhong, vice president of Yunnan Airport Group.

In the city of Kunming, a grand sendoff ceremony was organized by KONE China to celebrate the millionth delivery milestone. As part of the festivities, they also donated one million Chinese Yuan (around EUR 130,000 / USD 145,000) for the building of a new kindergarten in Yunnan Province.

Growing with the Chinese market


KONE’s journey in China began with the registering of the KONE Lifts subsidiary in 1996, and the first factory in the country was opened in Kunshan in December of the same year. At that time, the elevator and escalator market size in China was only around 30,000 units. In 2018, the market size had reached over 6 million units.

KONE operates two factories in China. Its Kunshan factory covers an area of about 142,000 square meters, employs over 2,400 people and delivers products across China and beyond, to more than 90 countries and regions all over the world.

The GiantKONE Nanxun factory was set up in 2005 and became a wholly-owned KONE subsidiary in 2016. Covering an area of about 100,000 square meters, the GiantKONE Nanxun factory provides elevators and escalators for the whole of China.

“I am very proud of this achievement, as it demonstrates how far we’ve come in 24 years. It has been a once in a lifetime journey,” says William B. Johnson, KONE’s Executive Vice President in Greater China.

“Over the years, KONE has become a leader in the industry thanks in a large part to KONE China. Urbanization in China has been the fastest in the world, and the same pace is expected to continue. Let’s see how soon we will be celebrating two million deliveries!”

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