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Escorts to set up new unit

Escorts Construction Equipment (ECEL) is in talks with the governments of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to acquire land for a manufacturing unit. Escorts will manufacture cranes,

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Set to Redefine Benchmark

The Leyland Deere JV announced its entry with the launch of its 435 backhoe loader. The joint venture between John Deere and Ashok Leyland has introduced its first product, the 435 backhoe loader,

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India is a key market, and we are strongly committed to its growth

Based on our 10 year plan, by 2020 we hope to be able to secure about five per cent of the whole construction equipment market share in India which comes up to half a billion US dollars. That is our target and we hope that we can progressively move towards that. 1 - - 22720 14 102 2011-12-01 00:00:00.000 Agith G Antony Racing Ahead The Indian CE section, at present the fifth largest CE market in the world, is tipped to become the second largest CE market by 2015, and by value terms, to reach 15 billion by 2015, and a whooping 20 billion by 2020. The ongoing race to stand tall and deliver is slowly but steadily changing the rules of the game. Agith G Antony trains his gaze on the changing CE horizon.

Ask any of the global OEMs who have set up shop here long ago or in the last couple of years, or for that matter, eask any new entrant how they perceive the potential of the Indian market. Their response is invariably couched in cliches: 'India is a key market and if you are not in India, there is something amiss with your business strategy.' Truth to tell, that response reveals the track on which the growing CE industry is heading.

"India is a key market and we are strongly committed to its growth," says Sew Chee Jhuen, President, Singapore Technologies Kinetics, which has recently forayed into the Indian CE market with the launch of a motorgrader. "For the new plant, we are pumping in around $15-20 million. Our total investment planned for next few years is $35 million. We are not limiting ourselves to this alone; we plan to build another factory very soon in India," he further adds.

At a recent press meet, Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director & CEO, JCB India stated, "We have no option as a country but to invest in infrastructure at all points in time." It is quite possible that the statement reflects what is in store for the construction equipment industry, and how OEMs are charting their business strategies to acquire a major share of the market.

The Prognos World Report, released way back in 1995, indicated that the classic industrial countries will only be contributing a third to worldwide growth by the year 2025, whereas, following the same timeline, the Indian economy was tipped to be a major catalyst stimulating international business growth. Today, India has emerged as one of the nations shaping world economy, a preferred investment destination and one of the world's most rapidly growing markets. Its national economy, its demographic structure and its high, sustained rate of growth has tagged India as the second most important market after China, coupled with the fact that contrary to China, domestic demand is already a strong development factor.

It's crystal clear: the role of India in the world economy has become so pivotal, certainly not because of the recent crisis, (though that must have accelerated matters, of course) but simply because of the huge potential India holds as a fast developing country. As per reports, the mid-term forecast for the next five years indicates that the gross domestic product in Europe and the US will grow at moderate annual rates while emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil are expected to maintain a much higher growth. The economic crisis, as well as the recovery after it, certainly had its impact in the global construction equipment market. For global OEMs with diversified enterprises, harsh impact in particular markets were largely offset by positive development in others. In fact, the total investment of many an OEM has gone up to considerably high levels again.

The dramatic shift in terms of sales of construction equipment from classic markets to BRIC nations is already evident as more global players are anchoring alongside the Indian shoreline. Over the last half decade, the number of global OEMs entering the Indian market has shot up; this includes major players from Japan, US, Germany, Korea, etc. On the other hand, domestic companies have also been either expanding their domestic capacities or diversifying their product portfolio. The result - with the emergence of new market players and expansion plans underway, the industry is expected to become more competitive and as a result, more fragmented.

Says DK Vyas, Chief Executive Officer, Srei BNP Paribas, "As per our estimates, the present organised equipment market for infrastructure and construction equipment (ICE) in India should be anything around Rs 24,000-28,000 crore ($4.7-5.5 billion). Thus, the construction equipment financing industry should be pegged at around 85 per cent of this figure. The growth of the ICE sector will be healthy. Our calculations tell us, when our GDP grows at 9 per cent annually, the annual growth rate of the ICE sector is at around 30 per cent. But in a worst case scenario, if the annual GDP growth rate even slows down to 6 per cent, the annual growth rate for ICE will be around 20 per cent. With such growth prospects, it is no wonder that global ICE majors are making a beeline to India and setting up shops here."

The construction equipment manufacturing industry estimates that CE demand will cross 100,000 units during 2014, whereas the contribution of the CE rental business, perceived to be another growth driver, is expected to double from the present seven to eight per cent of the size of the global industry to 16 per cent by 2015. Even though the industry spirit is currently dampened due to the volatility in oil and commodity prices and inflationary pressures, and to some extent, the alleged scams and corruption charges, the overall picture is quite positive and the sector is bound to see growth every year, propelled by government policies and support from the private sector.

As the rules of the game change, so do the trends. The increasing dominance of price-and-value focused customers, increasing awareness on the utility and versatility of specialised equipment, deeper engagement of global equipment manufacturers in India, increasing opportunities for exports and last, but not the least, the emission norms and greater emphasis on reducing the negative impact on environment, have been moulding the CE industry's trajectory onto a more responsible path as never before.

The emphasis today clearly is on creating capacity and backing it up with dealer networks and efficient service. As per sources , India will need an infusion of $1 trillion investment during the 12th Five Year Plan; there is no doubt though that the country has become one of the top priority markets for many global OEMs. A mere glance over the past five years' growth supports this fact.

As research inputs suggest, companies need to pursue four growth-enabling initiatives to expand the market. These include enhancing the quality, delivery and price of after sales services to increase share of service revenues from two per cent of total revenues to the global average of about eight per cent; addressing key gaps in financing to catalyse latent demand particularly in rural areas and small towns; expanding dealer and channel network coverage to address buyer fragmentation and quality, and proactively strengthening supplier capacities and capabilities.

The increasing competition from product imports from other low-cost countries that could potentially challenge the industry growth and the ever-increasing input costs have been a major challenge for the industry. To address these issues and achieve full potential in the market, OEMs have embarked on strategic initiatives: introducing India- specific products that includes low-priced multi-purpose equipment to attract new customers and to increase mechanisation in important areas; improving cost positions to better deal with the onslaught of competition from LCCs; and pioneering efforts to boost exports in areas like engineering and design services that leverage India's technical prowess.

Another perceptible shift is towards green procurement. Customers who rely on energy-efficient and environment-friendly machines will have an advantage over their competitors. The increasing fragmentation of the industry, with more players setting up production facilities for specialised machines, is an indicator of the industry going greener.

The Bharat Stage-IV norms are already in effect for automobiles and the BS-III is now in effect for most other segments except gensets; in all, it constitutes a major initiative to bring down the carbon footprint. One of the challenges faced by the manufacturers of diesel engines today is to develop products that will deliver higher performance, longer life, lower operating costs and at the same time, with less of an environmental impact. To comply with these standards, engine manufacturers have invested in the research and development of new, cutting-edge technologies aimed at taking diesel emissions levels to near zero. It's heartening to note that JCB has already launched the ecoMAX customised for Indian conditions and emission norms; Mahindra Navistar Engines will introduce a 4-cylinder engine to the Indian market for various genset and construction equipment; Cooper has moved up the value chain through a logical diversification in the engine and auto?motive manufacturing business and has launched a multipurpose, flexi-fuel, twin-cylinder engine, for which commercial production has already begun.

But on the flip side, the rising input costs and lack of a clear-cut road map for clean fuel are major deterrents. Another major challenge is to bring down the technology gap between the organised and unorganised segments. Ironically, while every other sector has been moving towards reducing emissions caused by engines, the genset industry has been largely inactive. There was even a move to extend the deadline for introducing the new norms for gensets. Thanks to the tireless efforts of some of the manufacturers, the deadline of 1 October 2013 stays effective and not only that, most of the manufacturers have already geared up for these new norms; some of them have already introduced their lower emission diesel engines into the market.

The point is, the unorganised sector neither has the resources nor the technology to develop such engines. Concerted efforts from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi and the Association of Diesel Engine Manufacturers Association (IDEMA) and unorganised segments , could dramatically reduce the technology gap, thereby reducing emissions from diesel engines. With this in place, we can look forward to a cleaner and greener industry.  
More importantly, more and more OEMs are charting different routes other than the classic ways of sales and service, to make it more holistic in terms of product offerings and relations with clients. Some leading OEMs have already started implementing the concept of MARC, though not to the fullest extent as it exists in the developed markets. Still, EI believes it's a good beginning.

A recently released report from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) forecasts that the world's manufacturing output growth will be slower this year, compared to the last year. As per the report, the developing countries have maintained high growth rates of manufacturing with production increasing by 11.1 per cent. For 2011, the MVA growth of industrialised countries is likely to be around 3.2 per cent, whereas that of developing countries is expected to grow by 8.4 per cent. Clearly, India and China are where the action is.

The role of India in the world economy has become so pivotal, certainly not because of the recent crisis, (though that must have accelerated matters, of course) but simply because of the huge potential India holds as a fast developing country.

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Construction Equipment Trends in India

Many companies are setting up manufacturing facilities in India, as the country is increasingly becoming a global manufacturing hub. A large and growing domestic market, lower manufacturing cost,

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Apex makes all major aggregates for a variety of CE

With annual sales of US$ 20 million an?d an asset base of over US$ 20 mi?l?l??ion, Apex is a one- stop shop for all fabrication and machining requir?ements. Apex is a leading supplier of finished fabricated assemblies and components to the light and heavy construction and earth-moving equipment industry.

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TEPL has ambitious plans for quadrupling its top line from present levels

Terex Equipment is all set to ride the bandwagon and be a part of this tremendous growth story that is unrolling in the country, "We have set up another state-of-the-art facility at Hosur, near Bangalore, apart from the existing Greater Noida facility.

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We plan to have a growth of 50% in our overall disbursements

Magma straddles the entire customer segment from the first-time buyer to the strategic segment. Our ticket sizes range from Rs 16 lakh for a backhoe loader to Rs 20 crore to a strategic customer, says Sumit Mukherjee, Vice President, Magma Fincorp.

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The LiuGong D series of excavators is set to meet all challenges

LiuGong has always been at the cutting edge of technology to provide the latest, the most cost- effective solutions and returns-on-investment to the Indian customer.

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The growth in coming quarters is very much dependent on inflation

Strong customer demand, rise of out?sou?rcing, entry of high cost sophistic?ated equipment and expected chang?es in legal, regulatory and tax framework would be the key enabler of a rise of leasing market in India.

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A complex growth pattern

Till date, leasing has not been not more than one per cent of the total equipment finance market. However, with the clarity coming about taxation related to leasing and a direct tax code coming up, there is a huge opportunity of revival of this product in the coming years.