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Graebert of Germany Says Japan CAD Market In flux—ARES Gains Ground

Graebert of Germany continues to make strides in CAD market share in Asia. Japan is one of its key markets where OEM product JDraf is a popular DWG native CAD solution competing for market share gains against AutoCAD, which in recent financial filings has indicated troubles in that market.


Graebert of Germany is the maker of the ARES Commander DWG-based 2D/3D CAD product line and a technology provider to big-name CAD giants who repackage ARES Commander (OEM versions) in various ways and sell it under their own brands. Corel of Canada and French industrial giant Dassault Systemes are two such examples.

However, in Japan, Graebert has a local partner selling an OEM version of ARES known in the Japanese CAD market—the second biggest CAD market in the world after the US—as JDraf.

“Japan is a very interesting market for challengers,” says Cedric Desbordes, sales and marketing executive for Graebert, “The success of ArchiCAD is a good illustration of it. The construction market is led by a few very large conglomerates (the Big 5) that have a strong influence on the market. These customers expect a very high level of service and quality.”

01 - ARES Commander for Mac by Graebert powers both CorelCAD for Mac and Dassault's DraftSight.

01 – ARES Commander for Mac by Graebert powers both CorelCAD for Mac and Dassault’s DraftSight. The DWG-native CAD program powers OEM solutions across Mac, Windows and Linux distributions, with particular OEMs focusing on geographic and industry sector markets with both small and larger customizations to ARES core tech.

JDraf in Japan is selling a product of the same name and goes head-to-head with Autodesk’s AutoCAD and other primary 2D CAD systems. 2D CAD in Japan has persisted longer in their market due to industrial cultural forces around dependability and quality, items that gave the Japanese auto-sector advantages over Detroit back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It isn’t dependable to be ‘experimenting’ with CAD systems, is how things are sometimes seen in Japan. Japan also has a long tradition of using Japanese produced software in the CAD/CAM industries, particularly the 2D oriented kind and in the AEC markets their own CAE (computer-aided engineering) or analysis packages.

Attacking the DWG Market in Japan

Graebert has told Architosh that outside of the US, Autodesk has to compete more vigorously against both local and international players. This is something we have heard before. In markets where there are strong localized offerings (as in Germany and Japan) the US CAD giant isn’t nearly as strong as in its home country and is often not the largest market share leader in these foreign markets. In stories about Graphisoft’s commanding wins with the Big 5 in Japan in the area of BIM, Architosh has already noted this.

MORE: Why one of Apple’s most notable developers is winning big in Japan

Even in Autodesk’s recent earnings report, the company reported troubles in Japan. Regardless, the AutoCAD market is still vast and a primary reason why the US CAD giant has so many new stronger competitors nibbling at its market share, particularly over-seas from its commanding domain in the US. At this moment, Graebert continues to make strong strides with its ARES Commander based CAD solutions in Asia and Japan in particular. In Japan, JDraf is the product that is increasing the use of ARES technology.

02 - A partner meeting for Graebert's APAC partners in Bangkok, Thailand, with Robert Grabert and the team from Japan's Jdraft in the view.

02 – Graebert recently had a very successful APAC partners meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

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