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Backhoe makers targeting booming India market

by Stephen White on Nov 29, 2011

The backhoe is the first machine to be produced by Ashok, three years after the JV's launch.
The backhoe is the first machine to be produced by Ashok, three years after the JV's launch.

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Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Company, the joint venture between Ashok Leyland and John Deere, has launched its much anticipated 435 Backhoe.

The backhoe is the first machine to be produced by Ashok, three years after the JV's launch.

“Construction equipment market is growing between 20-25% if you look at the aggregate of the last few years,” said company chairman V Sumantran. “While John Deere brings in their advanced technical knowhow and vast experience in global construction equipment space, Ashok Leyland would lend its in-depth knowledge of the Indian market, proven expertise in manufacturing, sourcing and distribution.”

Sumantran added that the JV is looking to produce at least two more products, including a wheel loader which will be launched in 2013.

Swedish manufacturer Volvo also announced last week that it is considering launching its own range of backhoe loaders in India. Vincent Tan, president of Volvo CE, Asia Region, which is tripling excavator production at its Bangalore plant in 2012, described backhoes as the one thing missing from its India portfolio.

“Presently, Volvo does not have backhoe loader in its portfolio for India. This is one product that is missing in our basket. However, we are presently studying the Indian market for launching this product. We have no definite timeframe to bring it here and take a decision at an appropriate time,” said Vincent Tan.

Meanwhile the name most synomonous with backhoes, JCB, said that is launching a range of new machines, including wheeled loaders, backhoes and excavators at this week’s EXCON 2011, one of India biggest construction machinery shows.

JCB India, owns 50% of the construction equipment market in India and the company said that it will experience growth of 45% in the country in 2011. CEO Vipin Sondhi warned however that he expects that growth will slow.

"The rate of growth... we expect to slow down," JCB India Limited Managing Director and CEO Vipin Sondhi told reporters here today. "I would estimate 15%-plus (growth in the current fiscal)".

However, he noted that infrastructure has become a dominant theme across political parties and there are already signs that the "government is getting back to clearing large projects," which he termed a positive trend.


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