Wenzhou lighter industry is facing serious difficulties Traditional industries expect to reignite

Recently, Li Zhongjian, general manager of the Oriental Lighter Co., Ltd., has devoted almost all his energy to a real estate project in Jiangsu, but he has shown that he can't be very confident about the lighter market he has cultivated.

The lighter is one of Wenzhou's traditional industries that best represents Wenzhou's characteristics, has the largest market share in the world, and has the highest reputation. Now it seems that it has reached the “crossroads” of industrial development. The number of enterprises has slipped from more than 5,000 during their peak period to more than 500 before the 2008 financial crisis. Today, there are only 117 left, and there are still 50 to 60 companies that can maintain production.

Recently, the "12th Five-Year Plan" of the "Circular Economy of Wenzhou City" was released, and the lighter industry was included in 19 demonstration projects of industrial clusters. It seems that Wenzhou lighter companies with internal and diplomatic difficulties have seen the dawn of future development.

Huang Fajing, chairman of Wenzhou Lighter Industry Association and chairman of Rifeng Co., Ltd., said that currently, the dilemma faced by the Wenzhou lighter industry is a microcosm of Wenzhou’s traditional industries. If the lighter industry finds a way to reinvigorate the industry, it may be able to give Some inspiration for the traditional industry.

So, how should the future of Wenzhou lighter go?

It was once very brilliant: 80% of the total global market 98% of the domestic market

In 1988, Wenzhou began producing lighters based on Japanese lighter samples. In the following years, there were many workshop-style lighter companies in Wenzhou, and a large number of metal lighters flocked to foreign markets. In 1994, the United States passed the CR regulations, causing Wenzhou lighters to lose the American market. However, Wenzhou lighters still have a huge market of the European Union. In its heyday, Wenzhou has more than 5,000 lighter companies and produces 600 million metal lighters each year, accounting for 80% of the total global metal lighter market, and 98% of the domestic market, among which three One of the exports to the EU, Wenzhou has become the world's largest metal lighter production base. At the same time, lighters have become one of the most representative products of Wenzhou's light industry.

Since 2001, the European Union has launched CR regulations and anti-dumping. Although Wenzhou lighter companies have improved their reputation and influence in the competition with the European Union, as the EU finally passed the CR regulations and the worldwide anti-smoking campaign in recent years, the lighter market in the world began to shrink significantly, before the financial crisis. Wenzhou lighter manufacturers have shrunk to more than 500. Last year, Japan passed the CR regulations. Coupled with the impact of the financial crisis, the Wenzhou lighter industry is worsening, corporate orders have dropped sharply, and the number of companies has decreased significantly.

The current difficult situation: can not get rid of low prices, thin profit, Li Zhongjian believes that there are still lighter companies in the production of the business, the profit is generally maintained at 2% -3%, is basically a subsistence state of living. For businesses that do not have business, they can only be “soft-landed” and quietly shut down and quietly “leave”.

Wholesale and ordering are the main marketing models for Wenzhou lighters. For decades, Wenzhou lighters have been unable to escape the low-cost fate.

Huang Fajing said that this kind of endless low-price sales, in addition to its own reasons, but also more important is the backwardness of the basic industries in Wenzhou, the backwardness of the mold industry to make Wenzhou lighter precision and fine enough; electroplating behind the surface of the lighter for easy wear of Wenzhou Wait. Therefore, the positioning of high-end Wenzhou metal lighters is used as a “disposable lighter” in the market. However, there are “brackets” on the business license of all Wenzhou lighter companies: “Excluding disposable lighters”. In other words, it is not allowed to produce disposable lighters on this land in Wenzhou. Huang Fajing said that because of the danger of disposable lighters, the municipal government introduced the policy of prohibiting the production of disposable lighters. At present, the lighter industry is in a difficult situation. We hope that the government can liberalize this policy.

Huang Fajing believes that, like other industries, if we want to increase the added value of Wenzhou lighter products, we must have a long-term plan for this industry. Only if the added value increases, will the future of the industry develop.

Looking forward to the future: Self-help by the company, government support “Never let Wenzhou’s lighter disappear in our generation”. This is a quote from Huang Fajing's heart.

Huang Fajing said that we must not only see the problems in the industry, but also not be overly pessimistic. The lighter industry is a micro-enterprise. To date, none of the lighter companies in Wenzhou have closed down. For the whole world, Wenzhou is the world’s largest metal lighter production base and has not been “shaken”. In addition, the advantages of these Wenzhou lighters are still in place, such as complete product varieties, huge industrial clusters, and perfect social division of labor. As long as the manufacturing level of the basic industry has improved, industrial design and corporate culture have improved, Wenzhou lighters still have hope.

Huang Fajing proposed the “save” measures of the lighter industry more than once in the association. He hoped that under the guidance of government departments, while accelerating the development of basic industries such as electroplating and molds in Wenzhou, the industry itself must also actively take action to establish a lighter industry group to effectively integrate industrial resources and maintain current International gift orders; the other hand, the introduction of high-end design talent, research and development of products suitable for the development of the industrial market, set up after-sales service in major cities in the country, launched the domestic market, in order to get rid of the fate of the current low-cost sales.

In addition, companies have also made "self-help": Tigers lighters will make the brand well-known nationwide; Rifeng lighter has spent a lot of effort on the development of international high-end gifts and lighter products, with a larger market; The cotton oil machine produced by Stellar Lighter combines the products with Chinese history and culture and has achieved outstanding performance in the domestic market. These practices of these companies will all become an indispensable experience for Wenzhou lighters to regain their influence.

Recently, the "12th Five-Year Plan" of the "Circular Economy of Wenzhou City" was released. The lighter industry was included in 19 demonstration projects of industrial clusters, which made Wenzhou lighters see the dawn of the future. The Wenzhou Municipal Development and Reform Commission also listed lighters as one of the top 100 industry clusters in 6 countries. The relevant person in charge of the Environmental Resources Department of the Municipal Development and Reform Commission said that at present, the implementation details of the “industrial cluster project construction” have been submitted to the municipal government for approval and an industry has been established. The cluster demonstration project involves all aspects of the project and the cooperation of relevant departments. After the implementation details are approved, it will be issued to all departments. In terms of effective allocation of resources and support for production factors, it will give more tilt.

Wenzhou lighter is looking forward to reignite.

Mining camp/Labor camp

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