Doosan Bobcat employees at new India plant [Photo provided by Doosan Bobcat Inc.]
Doosan Bobcat Inc., a South Korean compact construction equipment maker, has opened a backhoe loader plant in India in a move to gain ground in this rapidly burgeoning market.
The Korean company said Tuesday its newly acquired plant in Chennai, one of the biggest economic centers in South India, would start operation from the latter half of 2019. The 15,000 square-meter factory is capable of producing about 8,000 backhoe loaders a year, the company said.
A backhoe loader is a tractor-like heavy equipment vehicle with a loader-style shovel on the front and a backhoe on the back. It is widely used in small construction projects because of its small size and versatility and is seeing booming demand in India, the Middle East and South America.
The move is part of Doosan Bobcat’s plan to expand its regional portfolio to emerging economies. India’s compact construction equipment market is estimated to be worth about 1.3 trillion won ($1.21 billion), the third-largest in the world after the United States and China. Backhoe loaders occupy about 80 to 90 percent of that market and have been growing at an average 9.7 percent since 2014.
“India is an attractive market with demand for compact construction equipment surging on the back of government-led infrastructure projects,” said an official from Doosan Bobcat.
The company expects its venture into backhoe loaders to also help bump up its sales of skid-steer loaders and mini excavators in India.
“Our goal is to make it to the top three with a market share of over 10 percent in India’s backhoe loader market within the next five years,” said a company official. “We plan to fully leverage our success in the Middle East, where we claimed a 15 percent share in the backhoe loader market just two years upon entry.”
By Hwang Soon-min and Kim Hyo-jin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]