P. P. Basistha

JCB India has recently inaugurated its two new production facilities in Jaipur. The event was presided over by Smt. Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minster Rajasthan, Lord Bamford Chairman, JCB Group; and was attended by Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary DIPP; Mr. Graeme Macdonald, CEO JCB Group, Mr.Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, JCB India; Mr. Amit Gossain, EVP, Sales & Marketing, and Business Development JCB India; and customers and dealers of JCB India.

Entailing an investment of Rs.500 crore, the new plant located on 115 acre site, which is 35 km from Jaipur, is the fourth and the fifth production facility of JCB India. It is the next facility to its flagship facility at Ballabgarh in Haryana and two heavy line units in Pune. The Ballabhgarh plant produces the company's mainstay Backhoe Loaders, Liftall pick-n-carry cranes and ecoMAX engines while Pune heavy line facility manufactures Excavators, Wheel Loaders, and Compactors.

Speaking at the event Lord Bamford said, "From humble beginning in 1979, JCB has grown exponentially in India contributing to the Indian infrastructure sector. Dealership support has been instrumental towards JCB India's growth. Till date, we have made an investment of $250 million in our Indian operations including the new facility. The new factory will reinforce JCB India' presence further in India enabling us to contribute in a bigger way towards development of India's infrastructure. "The upcoming Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor has been one of the key determinants for putting up JCB's new facilities in Rajasthan."

Mr. Vipin Sondhi, said, "JCB's new facilities in the historical city of Jaipur are world-class in every respect, with zero effect on the environment both in terms of construction and operation. JCB India will be making products in Jaipur to the same world-class standard as the machines we make in our existing three factories in Ballabgarh and Pune. Our new manufacturing footprint, the strength of the JCB brand and our complete focus on the customer means that JCB India is well positioned to build on its own "Make-In-India" credentials and continue to deliver on its promise of product and service excellence to dealers and customers in India and in our growing export markets."

On the sideline of the event, Mr. Gossain, said, "JCB India has highest dealership concentration in Rajasthan. Backed by the support, the new facility will get monetized for addressing the varied market requirements." According to him, "Apart from servicing the domestic market, JCB India has been exporting its reliable products to 50 countries from its Indian production facilities." Key product line exported from India comprises, the ecoMAX Engines. The products are exported to Middle East, Malaysia and North American markets.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Macdonald informed, "JCB has 24 plants globally present in 150 countries. The plants are supported by 750+ dealers. The facilities manufacture range of compact, midrange, heavy line units. Our Indian facility accounts for 24% of the global production. With growth in infrastructure supported by our new facility, we expect the share to go up."

Vasundhara Raje Lord Bamford JCB

Responding to a query from NBM&CW on the side lines of the event on the products to be manufactured in the new facility, Mr. Sondhi said, "Initially, we plan to manufacture Skid Steer Loaders and ‘Loadall' Telescopic Handlers. The facility will also provide additional backhoe loader capacity from 2015. Later on depending on the emerging market requirements, we will decide to manufacture newer products in a phased manner." Component manufacturing has been initiated at one of the plants. JCB's new facility will employ 1000 people when operating at full capacity.

Being asked on what will be the quantum of investments JCB is planning towards upgrading its dealership network, commensurate to setting up the new facility, Mr. Sondhi said, "We will continue to ramp up our dealership network in accordance with utilization of the production facility and market demand."

On being asked does JCB see the demand cycles becoming more pronounced in the global construction market and how does JCB plan towards addressing the challenge of providing cost competitive products in face of rising costs towards research and development and production? Mr. Macdonald said, " Yes! we see the cycles becoming more frequent making the sales volatile. Since, we manufacture premium products, we will refrain from curtailing costs of our products, so as to build market share despite our product development costs going up."

JCB, the market leader for construction equipment in India operates the most extensive distribution network with 60 dealers and 600 outlets across India.
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