Expands supply of mini-excavators and increases models
Kobelco and Yanmar have entered into an MOU to expand their current supply of OEM mini excavators. The agreement expanding the supply of OEM mini excavators from Yanmar to Kobelco takes effect globally, while the supply arrangement from Kobelco to Yanmar only affects Japan.
Yanmar currently supplies 0.5- and 0.8-ton class OEM machines to Kobelco exclusively for the Japanese market. The new agreement will add four short rear tail swing models and conventional models will be expanded to six machines, expanding the total number of OEM machines to 10.
It will also expand the regions of OEM supply to cover all areas of the world. Marketing in North America, South Korea and Australia is anticipated to start from January 2015. Marketing in Europe and Japan is planned to begin from April 2015. Staged introduction to other regions is under review.
With Kobelco having recently launched itself into the market, following the end of an agreement with CNH, the agreement with Yanmar is a way to service the growing global market for mini-exacavators, without diverting its attention from its core business of the larger excavators, and the need to expand and rebuild its distribution network.
The differing engine emission requirements between markets has also been a factor, as only North America and South Korea require mini excavators of less than 3.0 tons to meet Tier 4 exhaust emission standards.
Kobelco itself has been working on reducing the fuel consumption and noise levels of its mini excavators ranging from 2.8 to 5 tons, and last year introduced new models, which have received high acclaim in the Japanese market for achieving low fuel consumption and for equipping its mini excavators with its original technology, iNDr (an engine cooling system).
Whether the mini-excavators will be introduced in the Middle East remains to be seen, as while demand for the machines in the Gulf is growing, in terms of overall market size relative to other segments it lags behind many other markets.