We have incorporated the optimum engine working temperatures to minimise emission. These engines are fitted with high pressure rotary type fuel injections, IEGR, turbocharger and heavy-duty silencers to keep the emissions low, says Anil Bhatia, Director Sales and Marketing, Case India. Excerpts from the interview.
How do you rate your success so far in the BHL market?
We are a market leader in the backhoe loader segment. The CASE 770 backhoe loader has gained acceptance in the hiring segment due to its low fuel consumption and operating cost. CASE 851 the backhoe loader in 96 hp category has a dual-stage pump with a load-sensing system which results in higher productivity with fuel efficiency. The four-wheel drive version of this model has gained good acceptance in the tough hilly terrain of the north-east, due to higher wheel torque and force. Our current market share is close to ten per cent and we are expecting it to increase by a relatively good percentage depending on market conditions.
Visibility of the machine and the easy availability of spares are couple of major factors that influence the buyer. How has CASE addressed these areas?
For visibility and easy availability, Case India is making its dealers' network strong. We are assisting 60 dealers to grow their own business and increase the value that they will have from the Case brand, in terms of products and services for better customer support. Case India marketing offices are spread over the country at 18 strategic locations and have a heightened presence in India's backhoe loaders market by offering customised products backed by engineering expertise gathered from operational presence in major construction markets across the world.
What is the present demand-supply scenario for earthmoving equipment, especially BHL, and what is your market share?
There is more demand for BHL compared to other construction equipment. It is due to the attitude of small-scale entrepreneurs and new start-up businessman who wants to own the equipment for five or six years. The loader backhoe becomes their favourable choice keeping in mind its usage and cost of maintenance. The loader backhoe market of India is the largest in the world; the volumes were close to 32,000 units in 2012. Case is a market leader in the loader backhoe industry with market share close to 10 per cent. (These are last year's figures.)
In today's scenario, how do you assess the growth potential from the rural market for BHL?
The overall demand has been slow. Currently, the total industry volume of loader backhoes is down by about ten per cent compared to last year. Due to depreciation of the rupee, delay in project clearances, land acquisition procedures, the construction equipment industry has been affected. The rural markets will show more growth potential as soon as the project will kick start. The rural market has more potential for development so we expect more projects to come up.
What is the impact of the continuing slowdown, especially on CASE's sales performance for BHL?
The business of construction equipment (CE) manufacturers in India is badly affected by the devaluation of Indian currency. There are hardly any contracts being finalised, making it extremely difficult for the construction sector to survive.
What is the impact of the plummeting value of rupee and the high cost of financing on FTBs?
The depreciation of the Indian rupee straight away increases our material cost by over eight per cent. In the capital equipment industry, it is impossible to realise this increase from the customer, especially when the economy in such a state, where the projects are getting delayed. The depreciation of the rupee has affected local manufactures who imports the component substantially. This ultimately increases the cost of the equipment. The market is not in a position to accept higher prices and hence, there is a drop in projected market volumes since the last six months.
Tell us about the range offered by CASE in BHL in terms of hp and tonnage? What are the product / technology trends in the BHL segment?
The CASE 770 driven by 76 hp engine, has got a higher breakout force and digging depth as compared to contemporary product offerings, making the machine suitable to work in Indian conditions.
The CASE 770 backhoe loader has also gained acceptance in the hiring segment due to its low fuel consumption and operating cost. We strive to achieve low levels of emissions and to have optimum fuel consumption for the machines with help of superior technology. Currently the engines which are being used conform to the norms of BS III. We have incorporated the optimum engine working temperatures to minimise emission. These engines are fitted with high pressure rotary type fuel injections, IEGR, turbocharger and heavy-duty silencers to keep the emissions low. For better fuel consumptions, we have opted for engines which produce better torque at optimum engine speeds.