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Front Page | June 2013

JCB s all set for India boom

Shrikant Rao  

One million is always a nice first major landmark to have whether in terms of moolah made or in terms of the number attached to a manufactured machine. At the global headquarters of giant digger manufacturer JC Bamford Excavators, which lords over much of the British Midlands brewery town of Rochester, the presiding sentiment is of achievement - after 67 years of operation the renowned construction and agriculture equipment manufacturer is celebrating the millionth machine to roll of its production lines, a 22 tonne JS 220 tracked excavator in shimmering silver, which translates to having diggers stretching from the UK to Down Under. Ergo the landmark is being celebrated at the main hub with new product presentations and performance displays at the local test site with more than 2500 dealers, customers and the world media in attendance. The press was thusmade privy to a top secret innovation facility Hundreds of dealers have had the opportunity to test drive the latest JCB's backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, telehanders etc.


Incredibly enough, much of this work has been achieved in the last six years. And as JCB's head honcho, Sir Anthony Bamford says, ''This production achievement is the direct result of the huge efforts by the JCB team past and present and given the company's continuing growth it will be able to complete its two millionth machine in considerably less time."


The company has delivered a 355 mn profit on - 2.75 bn sales following unprecedented global demand for its distinctive yellow products. Turnover is at the highest level in the company's 66 year history, with a 37 per cent increase. The Rocester firm, which is selling 70,000 machines a year across the world is now valued at 3 bn. Growth is coming largely from emerging markets, but more traditional markets are performing well also.


In September JCB opened a new 60 mn factory in Brazil, well-placed to take advantage of the surge in the construction sector in that country off the back of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The new 350,000 sq ft plant in Sao Paulo will make excavators and backhoe loaders, mainly for the domestic market. That market was buoyed by one of the biggest single tenders in JCB's history for more than 1,000 machines for the Brazilian government, worth รบ60 mn.Innovation is the new mantra for JCB as it outlines its future strategies for world markets, of which India - largely backhoe and telescopic handler country - is a key player.


Last month marked the laying of the foundation stone of JCB's fourth manufacturing plant at Jaipur at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore. The 115- acre site. coming up on the high growth Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, and bolstered by existing facilities - two at Ballabgarh near Faridabad and one at Pune, will drive innovation further with the launch of new products in the JCB yellow products range and propel India as a major global sourcing centre. The facility is slated for a phase one opening next year. India is now already on its way to becoming a global sourcing hub for the company.


Graeme Macdonald, CEO designate told PROJECTS INFO on the sidelines of the product presentations which saw the unveiling of a new JCB engine, ''Innovation is not just the company policy it is part of JCB's lifeblood and that is what makes us stay ahead of the competition. India will play a huge role in that innovative push as we move ahead. We are partners in the India growth story and our investments and strategies are in alignment with the country's development surge forward.''


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