Liugong India gave live demonstrations of its excavators, wheel loaders, motor graders and compactors that manifested the company’s global strategy to be a total solutions provider. Display of the equipment across the value chain also showed the company’s competitive prowess as a single window solution provider, with local manufacturing and a strong product support base. The Indian facility manufactures 15, 20 and 21-ton excavators, 2, 3 and 5-ton wheel loaders, and 150 hp, 414 motor graders. Indian operation has been prime for Liugong among its other global operations in Brazil, Poland and Argentina, contributing 70% of its overseas sales revenue in 2016.
Speaking with P.P. Basistha on the sidelines of the event, Mr. Wu Song, Managing Director, and Mr. Nischal Mehrotra, Director – Sales at Liugong India, shared information on the company’s plans to expand and consolidate its presence in the highly competitive Indian CE sector, where customers are now looking for solutions that bring value, other than the pricing.
With customers looking beyond pricing for the equipment they acquire, what will be your strategy to meet their expectations?
We are adding more value to our offerings by ensuring availability of our equipment through our integrated local manufacturing, along with strong customer support, for which we are expanding our dealership. Presently, we have 20 dealers in India with 50 customer touchpoints. These dealers also cover Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We are providing them the necessary training to curtail lead time and improve the quality of service. They are also being trained on the engineering improvisations being made in our equipment so that they can provide the necessary support and service to our newer population of equipment, alongside our active fleet of 4000 across various verticals.
We have added advanced telematics in our equipment, as telematics is becoming indispensable with engines migrating to BS-4 electronic-based from the earlier BS-3 mechanical ones. With telematics, our equipment will deliver higher total lifecycle cost to the customer. It will ensure predictive and preventive maintenance by analyzing varied operating parameters like fuel consumption, engine performance, etc.
We have a strong R&D, manufacturing and warehousing facility in Indore and Chennai. With our equipment becoming more advanced, we will enhance our training of operators and service engineers, for which, a training center by Lizhou Training College of China, has been opened at our facility.
As part of our global strategy, we will offer value through heightened automation and optimization of our manufacturing processes and product designing through extensive research and innovation. A commonality of equipment design will facilitate ease of assembly, service and operation across all our equipment verticals such as excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders and motor graders. Optimized manufacturing can be seen at our single assembly line in Pithampur, where we are manufacturing wheel loaders and motor graders. We would like to add that our products are coming with more localization. We have made an additional investment of 5 million USD to enhance the production capacity at Pithampur, which will now require 40% more manpower over the next 2-3 years.
Will engine support be rendered by your OEMs?
We have a global tie-up with Cummins for our graders and excavators, including products from India. As per this agreement, we will be rendering product support for the engines and for the entire product. However, for our 2, 3, &5 wheel loaders made in India, and our 7-ton imports from China powered by Weichai engines, support will be rendered by the OEM. We offer Cummins Engine in our 3,5 & 7 ton wheel loaders. Weichai option is also available for the 3,5 & 7 ton wheel loaders.
What more value are you adding to your excavators and wheel loaders?
Our new, intelligent H-Series of fully loaded wheel loaders now come with a higher level of fuel efficiency and breakout force. We are positioning our loaders with 4.5 and 5 cum buckets alongside premium manufacturers. We have sold close to 30 units of the loaders to big contractors and to mineral processing plant owners. We are well positioned in India with our wide range of 3.5 tons to 39 and 50 tons. The higher capacity excavators have the standard fuel consumption benchmark of 34-35 liter/ hour. The Q-Series Cummins engines, made by a JV of Cummins and Liugong at our Chian facility, will deliver higher performance as they have been specifically designed for off-highway construction equipment. We will make improvisations in the equipment as per the application requirements.
The motor grader space is witnes- sing newer products for niche appli- cations. What value proposition will your road construction equipment bring?
A wide range of products integrated with advanced technology, and strong support for road contractors and rental agencies, will make us a total solutions provider. With motor graders, we plan to move to the higher end of the value chain, with applications for highway construction projects. For instance, we will bring out a 180 hp motor grader, which will deliver higher productivity, and faster ROI.
LiuGong India’s machines are designed and tested to operate in the toughest conditions. The machines made in India are tested for local conditions. They use world-class components including engines, transmission axle, cylinders and control valves; from renowned manufacturers like Cummins, ZF and Kawasaki. They use proven technologies to thrive in the most rigorous of conditions, making them highly efficient, durable, simple to run, easy to service and cost-efficient too. With our full-fledged R&D local set-up, we will continue to modify our equipment to meet the application requirements of road construction in India.