Kim of Doosan Bobcat: The market for skid steer loader is slowly progressing
Equipment

Kim of Doosan Bobcat: The market for skid steer loader is slowly progressing

How do you view the current market for mini equipment in India? Currently, the market for skid steer loaders is slowly progressing post-pandemic, which had been stagnant till last year. The current year trend shows that the skid steer loader market is on a growth path as the infrastructu...

How do you view the current market for mini equipment in India? Currently, the market for skid steer loaders is slowly progressing post-pandemic, which had been stagnant till last year. The current year trend shows that the skid steer loader market is on a growth path as the infrastructure sector is opening with projects being awarded besides the demand in general construction. Whilst the demand for backhoe loaders and compact excavators is growing exponentially, many new players are getting good opportunities in various applications. With markets now in the rebound phase, and with anticipated growth in coming years, the infrastructure sector is gearing up with projects across all sectors. The steady growth in demand would show the road to recovery fuelled by government initiatives. Introduce us to your recent launches in this segment. Last year, we launched two skid steer models – S590 and S770 – introduced in India with CEV stage IV engines. To increase our line up in compact excavators, we also launched E20z and E50z last year, which have seen good demand in recent times. Which mini equipment categories have seen continuous growth in the past couple of years? For which categories do you foresee demand in the near future? The 3 to 3.5-t compact excavator segment has already crossed the 7 - 8T TIV that includes locally manufactured equipment. In the coming days, there would be an upward trend in the mini excavator market. The 3 to 3.5-t compact excavator segment where Bobcat offers E30, E37 Xtra, and E37 Ultra, contributes 80 per cent of sales and is a major selling segment. Kerala has traditionally been a key market for compact excavators and is now surpassing previous performance. However, there is a demand for compact excavators in other regions recently. Most buyers are plant hirers who provide machines for renting out whereas the other segment is the end-users who directly purchase. Plant hirers or rental buyers are very prominent in southern India, whereas the trend changes in the rest of the country with contractors and end-users buying more equipment directly. Generally, machines with industrial applications are bought by end-users which is now gaining popularity in other regions as well. Since most buyers are rental companies, the usage pattern of mini excavators varies in a wide variety of applications such as general construction, agriculture and plantation, and industries. The growth of the mini construction equipment market is limited as they are niche products with specific applications. What are the strategies applied by the company to overcome these challenges? After witnessing demand in the 3.5 t segment, we launched E37 Ultra HD with standard arm and counterweight to ensure easy logistics from one site to another, besides reduced tail swing radius and arm length for confined work sites. Bobcat is a leader in innovation, especially in serving customers with its compact equipment and attachments for various applications. For instance, the Bobcat introduced an HVAC option for its range of compact excavators in the industry. In addition, the compact excavators come with a variety of Bobcat attachments for versatility, with the machine performance being enhanced by the easy controllers which along with the standard coupler on the boom help change attachments quickly and effortlessly. Very soon, Bobcat would focus on similar designs that would be manufactured in India for backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, and compact excavators to suit the local demands of customers.

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