Other attractions included the new Super+ series of hydraulic excavators – EX130 Super+ and EX 210 Super+, ZAXIS370LCH: custom made for quarry and granite applications, and ZAXIS220 LCM. Also displayed was TL340H, the Made in India fuel-saving hydrostatic wheel loader and the compact and power packed ZAXIS20U. Added attractions were remanufactured components from Tata Hitachi's Re-Man center, wide range of customized attachments addressing specific customer needs and genuine Tata Hitachi spare parts.
Shin Nakajima, Director - Sales, Service and Customer Support, commented, "Following highly successful launches in the Southern markets, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar and Jharkhand, we are proud to launch SHINRAI in the North today."
Tata Hitachi, a joint venture between Tata Motors Limited (40%) and Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Limited (60%), has three plants: one each in Jamshedpur, Dharwad and Kharagpur. Its product lineup encompasses a wide range of Excavators from 2T – 800T, 35T to 290T Rigid dump trucks, Wheel Loaders and Backhoe Loaders.
Speaking to NBM&CW on the sidelines of the launch, Sandeep Singh, MD, Tata Hitachi informed that they plan to sell 100 backhoes in a month for the first year and will gradually increase the number. "We have already commissioned 120 machines and delivered more than 200, despite some challenges. Our machines are good and customers are happy, and we feel that in six months' time we will have a respectable position. We cannot challenge companies like JCB, who have a big cost advantage, like no other company can challenge us on excavators! At the end of the day, it's the right quality, the right price, the right service and support that matters. Going forward, we will look at producing 100 backhoes per month in 2019 and maybe 200 in two years' time."
He added, "In regard to excavators, Tata Hitachi has a market share of 36% and we want to continue to be seen as a manufacturer of quality machines. We are focusing on quality, pricing and service, which is a good business model for us, and we will continue to grow at an average of 15%."
On stiff competition and pricing he said, "Lower price may be attractive at the time of purchase but if customers are not happy with the machine's performance, nobody will touch it, and this will spread like wild fire. The fact that Tata Hitachi has maintained its position for the last three years, despite some other companies flexing their muscles, we have not dropped even by one percent. This is because we have not compromised on quality or service. We believe that a company should make a good quality machine and be able to take care of customers. We have refurbished our training centers for technicians and operators at our manufacturing facilities with simulators etc. We have put telematics as standard in all our machines and customers are getting alerts on preventive maintenance, fuel consumption and other reports. We are the first to put telematics as standard in all our machines," averred Sandeep Singh
According to him, BS 1V norms for backhoes will kick in by 2020, and a year and half later for excavators, which will increase the cost of machines. Prices have also gone up due to GST and Forex. But in his view, the industry should not worry too much, rather, the CE companies should work on their strengths, is his advice. "Our business today is dependent on both state and central governments as most projects are being initiated and spearheaded by state governments. With the upcoming elections, the CE industry may see a decline, but we envisage long-term growth for the industry. The market will grow by 10% irrespective of which government is at the center, though there might be a slowdown for six months or so. The CE market in 2019 may not be as high as it was in the last two years, so sales may be slow, but they will not be negative," he concluded.