As per Off-Highway Research, crawler excavators will be the fastest growing product of the near future, and its demand should grow to over 30,000 units in the next four to five years.
Excon 2013 bears testimony to the fact that OEMs are gearing up for the anticipated demand for excavators. Some of the leading players either launched new models or showcased upgraded versions. Volvo CE launched two productive and powerful models in the D Series - EC220D and EC300D; JCB showcased its completely renewed JS Series range of tracked excavators - the JS81, JS120,JS205, JS145, JS360LC, JS220LC, JS205LR and the JS30 mini excavator. Kobelco showcased its upgraded SK380HDLC, fitted with Geoscan, a remote monitoring system developed by Kobelco Japan, and also equipped with Kobelco unique ITCS (Intelligent Total control system), to cater to the mining sector; and Sany, a new player in the excavator market, launched the SY 210 C-9.
According to Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director & CEO, JCB India, the excavator market has gained popularity in the past few years and the market will certainly grow in future, as demand for specialised machinery is on the rise. Sondhi says, ´Currently, the demand for all construction equipment has declined due to the economic slowdown but it will pick up once the infrastructure sector starts to move. We are absolutely confident about India´s long- term growth prospects and even in these uncertain times, JCB is the only company that has been successful in expanding its market share in the excavator segment. We have seen a considerable increase in the export of our machines in the past few years.´
Says AM Muralidharan, President, Volvo CE, ´The way the market was going in 2010-2011, every OEM including us, took a decision to invest more to build capacity and to that end, we have launched our D Series at Excon 2013. But the market for excavators in 2013 dipped unexpectedly, though I am sure this is not going to continue forever. As per the forecast, the excavator market will double in four years` time and it should be around 30,000 machines in 2017-2018. There are some models moving faster and some models moving at a slow pace, but on an average, it is going to double in four years time.´
Virkram Sharma, Managing Director & CEO, Kobelco Construction Equipment India had this to say. ´There has been a huge drop in the size of the Indian construction equipment market. However, we have been able to maintain our numbers and have even notched up a marginal growth. Our efforts of the past few years have made us the preferred choice of customers in many applications and areas. Continuous product development and a strong customer focus have helped us sustain our growth despite adverse market conditions.´ He adds, ´The mining sector in India has huge potential and can play a significant role in the growth of our economy. Our main offering in this segment is the 50T model which is fast becoming the preferred choice on account of its fuel economy and higher production capability.´
´There has been a considerable dip in excavator sales due to various reasons. This year the excavator market has been slow, and the total size should be somewhere around 10,500 units whereas last year, the market size was over 13,000 units,´ says Rohit Punjabi, Assistant Director Strategy & Marketing, LiuGong India.
Sondhi sums it all up on a positive note. ´The excavator segment will certainly witness growth in the long term but the progress in the construction equipment industry is directly related to demand in the infrastructure industry. Market dynamics and the infrastructural development will play a critical role in deciding the future of the heavy equipment segment.´