Machinery

Bobcat announces start of operations in new India plant

Chennai manufacturing base to produce backhoe loaders for domestic and export markets including the Middle East

Operations have commenced at Doosan Bobcat’s first manufacturing facility in India, located on the outskirts of Chennai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Announcing the inauguration and the start of operations, Doosan Bobcat said the facility has been set up at a planned total investment of $26m over the next five years. The state-of-the-art plant is spread across an area of 21.6 acres and has an annual production capacity of 8,000 units. Besides catering to the local market, the company also plans to use the plant as a manufacturing hub for export, including to the Middle East market.

An integrated facility, it comprises fabrication, warehousing, assembly and paint shop all under one roof and will initially manufacture Bobcat backhoe loaders completely designed and developed by Bobcat’s engineering team based in Chennai. This is a new addition to the existing product portfolio of Bobcat in India that currently comprises several skid-steer loader and mini-excavator models.

Scott Park, CEO of Doosan Bobcat Global, said: “This new facility will help to meet the increasing demand for backhoe loaders to support the development of India’s infrastructure and construction segment. India is one of the key markets for Doosan Bobcat to maintain global leadership in the compact segment of the market. By opening the new factory in India, Doosan Bobcat has taken the next step forward to expanding its global presence and growth strategy. This facility represents our long-term commitment to Indian customers, employees and business associates through development of vendors, promotion of local parts procurement, technology transfer and export.”

According to Doosan Bobcat, with the backhoe loaders produced in Chennai it is aiming to become the No. 3 player within three years in India’s huge backhoe loader market, the biggest in the world for the segment. The company also said it plans to make this facility a global manufacturing centre for export to other countries and a regional centre of excellence. In addition to backhoe loaders, the company is also looking at localising its other compact products to better suit Indian market requirements.

India is one of the fastest growing economies across the globe and its compact equipment market is the third largest in the world after the US and China, with an estimated worth of over $1bn. The Indian backhoe loader market, which accounts for 80% of the country’s entire compact construction equipment market, is the largest in the world. Since 2014, the Indian backhoe loader market has grown at an average annual rate of 9.7%.

Scott Park added: “Of all the emerging economies, India is the key market, showing the most prominent growth pattern fuelled by investment increases in various types of infrastructure across the country. We plan to use the Chennai plant as our global production base for backhoe loaders and boost their sales around the world and in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia in particular.”

Doosan Bobcat also revealed plans to expand its presence in India’s compact construction equipment market by establishing 25 dealerships and 65 sales networks throughout India by the end of 2019, and to further increase the number of sales networks to 200 by 2024.

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