Protect and serve: Bobcat's GCC strategy for 2015
Regional director, Gaby Rhayem, explains how Bobcat aims to protect its market share and serve its dealers during 2015
Gaby Rhayem says Bobcat must protect its market share and serve its dealers in 2015
PMV: What are your responsibilities at Bobcat?
Gaby Rhayem: I am responsible for Bobcat’s businesses and dealer network across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
PMV: How was business during 2014?
GR: The industry showed positive signs last year. Bobcat experienced double-digit growth in the Middle East, for skid-steer loaders (SSLs), compact track loaders (CTLs), and mini-excavators. Bobcat did extremely well within the SSL segment in 2014. This was the best-ever year in this region in terms of increasing our market share. We exceeded our initial targets by some way.
PMV: What factors helped to stimulate this growth?
GR: The launch of the Bobcat S450 was a really positive driver for us. This machine was very well received by customers across the Middle East, and feedback from our dealers was also extremely positive. This launch helped us to gain SSL market share from our competitors. We also made significant gains within the telescopic handler segment, and for this reason, I think that 2015 is going to be the year of Bobcat telescopics in the Middle East. We will build upon last year’s performance and continue to increase our market share in this area.
PMV: Why are you so optimistic about Bobcat’s telehandler business?
GR: Last year, we introduced an array of telehandlers to the market. Don’t get me wrong; this is a competitive sector. Historically, the segment has been dominated by other brands. It’s not easy. Each one or two points gained in terms of market share represents a big fight. However, Bobcat is ready for this fight. Following the launch of our new generation of telehandlers, we have the tools necessary to continue to grow our business within this segment.
PMV: Is it a challenge for you and your dealers to convince contractors to invest in new machinery?
GR: Not especially. Whilst our dealers have reported that there is demand for used machinery, compact equipment isn’t as expensive as, say, large excavators and articulated dump trucks. The initial level of investment is less, so contractors are happy to pay for the peace of mind that comes with buying a new machine. Aftersales support is also an important consideration.
PMV: What are your major priorities for the coming 12 months?
GR: For compact machinery, Bobcat’s market share is very high, and we need to protect this position. Dealer support will be vital in this respect, so we will continue to invest in people and facilities. For this reason, I’m hiring personnel for both our office’s sales and aftersales departments. We’ve also opened a new parts distribution centre (PDC) in Jebel Ali, in conjunction with our logistics partner, Agility [page 54]. I’m very confident, and so is the company. The industry in general is not doing so well in Europe or Russia, so the Middle East can help to compensate.