Thwarting challenges
The construction equipment (CE) market was predicted to be flat this year due to elections and uncertainty in the new political scenario. The industry was cautiously optimistic. However, optimism began to gain momentum on the back of a series of project announcements by the new government. Alas, it was short-lived as the economy numbers dived. The current economic slowdown looks very threatening. It has already punched the auto industry in the gut and the industry has been screaming in pain. Emergency measures have been activated due to hectic lobbying. While the impact is severe in automobile industry, other manufacturing and engineering sectors are also feeling the pinch of a slowdown. In this tough situation, mining equipment sector has at least something to cheer about. The announcement of allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in coal mining in India will open the doors for foreign players to enter Indian market and own and operate mines here. This will create an opportunity for bigger international players to bring in new technologies to Indian coal mining sector to improve quality and productivity in mining operations. Considering the long gestation nature of mining projects, this may take time to kick off in real sense.

The ripple effect of slowdown in the economy is also visible in the backhoe loader market. Off-Highway Research has forecasted a downturn in the market this year due to elections. However, the slowdown has made the impact a bit more severe, according to the latest industry reactions. Backhoe loaders being the largest used construction equipment in numbers, the impact of slowdown is more. The manufacturers though, are optimistic about the revival of the market towards the end of this fiscal as many construction and infrastructure projects are taking off. Doosan for one, has introduced B900 backhoe loader just this month. They are also banking on the government's next drive to provide succour to the infrastructure sector. Budget proposals which once put into action, will drive the demand for construction equipment including backhoe loaders. The Cover Story on backhoe loaders explores more on the technology developments and the market outlook of this high-volume construction equipment.

The tower cranes market in India is on a sustainable growth considering their increasing use in construction projects. Read Feature for more insights into the developments in tower cranes. The Focus on trenchless technologies elaborates the upcoming developments in India in trenchless method of construction. The CASH Special Focus on filters describes the new developments focusing on the upcoming emission regulations.

The INDIA CONSTRUCTION FESTIVAL scheduled on October 15-16, 2019 at ITC Maurya in New Delhi will also host the 7th Equipment India Awards on October 16. Stay tuned.