Access market for new machines has grown by 24 per cent
Haulotte India has been in operation for the past five years as a fully owned subsidiary, with a market share of 32.5 per cent. Souma Ray, Director, elaborates more on the company and the market trends.

What is the total market for access equipment in India? What is Haulotte's market share?
Although there has been an increase in awareness of the use of access equipment for safe and productive work at heights, compared to matured markets of Europe, the US, South America, Australia, Singapore, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea and China the growth in India has been dismal and nowhere close to its potential. In 2016, 758 machines (both new and used) were imported into India in a ratio of 1:1.2, which is very low. The lack of binding legislation for use of aerial work platforms (AWPs) while working at heights and the unabated import of old used machines of any condition and age proves to be the major deterrent in the growth of the access equipment industry in the country. Compared to this the market in China was over 6,000 machines with a growth of 68 per cent year-on-year (YoY). Despite all the challenges in a small and nascent market, we have maintained a market share of 32.5 per cent.

What are the new products and solutions in your equipment range?
We at Haulotte have been following a structured path of regularly introducing newer and updated products. The mainstay of the development process followed by our research and development (R&D) department are the feedbacks that we gather from our customers whilst developing a new product. Our aim is to make our machines state-of-the-art, user-friendly, easy to operate and main, and be the best in its class. Over the past few years, we have launched many new and upgraded products such as our 16 m, 20 m and 26 m diesel rough terrain articulating boomlifts; 21 m, 23 m, and 28 m diesel rough terrain telescopic boomlifts; and telehandlers (5 tonne and 7 tonne).

Each of our models and variant has its own USP, but one of the many distinguishing notable features is in the lower ground control box of our new generation articulating and telescopic booms. We have incorporated the Haulotte Diagnostic screen (ACTIV Screen) in the panel which will enable the user to get all details of performance and related parameter at the touch of a button. Further, any fault diagnosis can also be done on this screen, which gives a pictorial description of the nature and location of the fault. This tremendously helps in reducing the downtime of the machine and any intervention can be done in the shortest possible time.

Apart from this, our newest introduction is the provision of LED lights integrated on our new HT28RTJ 28 m telescopic boom to facilitate safe loading operations of the machine at night. Furthermore, our emphasis will also be to ensure increased availability of the equipment, enabling the users to get higher rental rates and productivity.

One of the recent technological advancements we have introduced in our diesel boom lifts is the Entrapment Prevention System, ACTIV' Shield¬ Bar. This is a secondary guarding system that ensures safety of the worker in an entrapment situation. The system once activated allows on reverse and down function of the machine, thus preventing further danger to the worker. The system unlike some of our competitors' offerings, can be reset from the platform itself, thus saving both time and money.

How is the demand trend for access equipment look like?
On a global perspective, the demand of AWPs has certainly increased both in government and private sector. Rental sector is also seeing good demands of our equipment which is encouraging. But going forward, as the AWP industry matures in India and people become more aware of the multifarious advantages of using such an equipment, the AWP industry shall start seeing a steady growth. In the coming years this industry shall evolve to become one of the fastest developing sector.

What is the post GST scenario for access equipment?
We are hopeful that the introduction of GST would encourage the growth of the AWP sector. Being imported equipment, the net effect of GST will bring down the landed price by around 10 per cent which we feel will act as a stimulus to customers buying such machines.

What are the growth opportunities of access equipment in India?
India is one of the fast emerging markets, thus investors across the world are making a beeline to put their money in setting up businesses in India. Under such a favourable economic scenario, we are certain that the access equipment market shall get a stimulus to grow rapidly in the coming years. Already in the past few months of 2017, we have noticed that the access market for new machines have gone up by 24 per cent compared to last year. I am confident that this trend shall continue.

What are the expansion plans of Haulotte in India?
Haulotte India has been in operation in India as an Indian registered company for the past five years as a fully owned subsidiary. We are very confident about India being one of the most promising emerging markets and believe in the growth potential that our products have in the country. Year-on-year, we have been strengthening our leadership position. Now that GST has been implemented, we shall certainly lay specific emphasis in chalking out our future expansion plans in India.