While Tata Hitachi is maintaining itself as the market leader in excavators in India, the company is aiming to have a decent market share in wheeled equipment segment also. Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co, shares more about the market and the company's plans.
What are your product expansion plans?
Our core strength is excavators and we maintain the leadership in this category. While we are able to maintain and sustain our leadership position in excavators, we are also bringing new products into the excavator line up. In the last two years, we have done a lot of work in mining and the mining business is getting better. However, in the wheeled equipment segment, we are not very strong. We have started revamping the segment two years back with refurbishing our wheel loader range. It has yielded results as now we sell 13-15 machines a month compared to 5-6 a month in the past years. By end of this year, we believe we will gain at least 2 per cent market share which should go up to 5 per cent next year. In the next two years, we aim to achieve a market share of 10 per cent in wheel loaders.
Coming to backhoe loaders: these machines constitute a big market in India. We used to have a respectable share in this segment with 8-10 per cent market share earlier, which has gone down in the last few years. Last year, we have started a new project and developed a new machine called SHINRAI which we showcased at EXCON 2017. The commercial delivery of the new product has just started. Our plan is to sell the new range gradually and give an experience to our customers. In the next three months, we plan to sell more than 100 machines of SHINRAI. In the first six months, this machine will be sold in the southern markets.
Going forward, we will be localising the production of 2 tonne and 3 tonne excavators, which we used to import so far. We have recently introduced 140 tonne excavators. Last year we have introduced 37 tonne and 40 tonne. This is the first year that we will have the full year of having the new range of 14 tonne, 37 tonne and 40 tonne excavators. This will significantly help us increase our presence in the market. We are also working on new excavator ranges in higher tonnage capacity, 80 tonne and 60 tonne to bring in Hitachi technology to India, which may take a little longer time. Thus, we have the largest range of excavators in the country, ranging 2 tonne to 120 tonne.
What is your market share in mining excavators?
In mining excavators, we are doing very well as our growth is very good in 45 tonne, 65 tonne and 120 tonne excavator segment. In 65 tonne we have about 85 per cent market share, the 120 tonne constitutes about 50 per cent market share, while in 45 tonne we have a market share of about 37-38 per cent.
How do you assess the growth of construction equipment in future?
Next year being the election year, the government has a huge focus on construction, mining and irrigation segments. We believe that the excavator market will grow at a rate of 15 per cent by end of this fiscal, which is around 8-9 per cent now. In the backhoe loader market, sales have declined in the last two months but is expected to grow at a rate of 12-13 per cent this fiscal year. The growth of wheel loader market can be around 15 per cent. Overall, this year will be good for almost all equipment manufacturers. The only issue we are facing today is material cost and currency rate.