Kobelco's Robust and Higher Capacity Excavators

E. Moses, Excavator Division
E. Moses, Vice President & National Head - Excavator Division, at Kobelco India, informs that the company plans to be active in the mining industry with its higher capacity, robust Excavators, and aims to further strengthen its brand value by setting up a refurbishment unit.

What sets Kobelco excavators apart as premium products?
Kobelco excavators are considered to be premium because they deliver higher productivity with a faster cycle time and save operational costs with their fuel-efficient CRDI engines. They have higher content of quality components, including the hydraulics, tracks, booms, and drives, a robust super structure, and an operator-friendly cab design.

The company currently has a 28% share in the excavator market of India, despite the intense competition, and a strong brand recall for its premium class of machines which can cater to all sizes of projects.

What further improvements is Kobelco making in its excavators?
Kobelco continues to drive its excavator business by bringing more premium products into the market. The company is confident that technological interventions in its excavators will enhance their performance, making them even more suitable for corporate customers and the rental business. Kobelco SK220 excavators are designed to offer ease of deployment, and to work well in large infrastructure projects that have a long gestation period, and where excavation is required in both hard and soft soil strata, and across different project locations.

To enable the machines to work well in multiple applications and across various project sites, the company plans to extend its range of attachments (which will be the biggest in the industry) and will range from hydraulic rock breakers to specialized buckets. The breakers will be sourced from the premium Okada brand of Japan.

What tonnage of excavators are likely to see more demand in 2023-24?
The highly competitive excavator market will continue to be dominated by the 20-22- ton class. Demand is set to firm up in 2023-2024 and will see heightened activity. Though competition has increased following the entry of Chinese machines, Kobelco will not consider mass marketing of its excavators, and will continue to position itself in the premium category.

E. Moses, Excavator Division

What is Kobelco’s marketing strategy for strengthening its brand value?
Kobelco India plans to maintain its 14-ton & 20-ton class of excavators, and even expand its range to make the machines suitable for all users,,including for projects with a longer gestation period, and for the mass market, which is an important segment for the company.

Kobelco is also keen to expand its footprint in the mining segment with its higher capacity, robust excavators, where it will promote its 38-ton for handling of semi frivol rocks, boulders, and ores. It will also market its excavators for use in granite and marble mining industries which require handling of weightier materials and some specialized work.

Kobelco aims to further strengthen its brand value by promoting both its new and used machines on the basis of their superior quality, high performance, and reliability. In fact, the companywill be setting up an equipment refurbishment unit at its plant.

What efforts are being made to make the products cost competitive?
With the purchase price of machines going up due to the rising cost of raw materials and aggregates, the end-users are looking for machines that give higher productivity and efficiency in performance, with lesser operating cost.

Japanese manufacturers Kobelco has attained a fair amount of localization of its products – making them cost competitive in the Indian market. It also sees its wide range of attachments as a highly lucrative business as they can cater to numerous applications across various projects.

With Kobelco’s timely services and support, its machines have minimal breakdowns and require minimum maintenance. The company is offering 10,000 working hours of warranty on its products, and is imparting training to its dealers/operators, including prompt parts supply and timely maintenance support to the end-users. Kobelco has 30 dealers in India who also cater to the neighboring Nepal and Bhutan markets.
NBM&CW, August 2023
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