“It will compete with similar products in the industry on the strength of its Japanese technology, superior quality, higher productivity, and backed by our service support. In fact, we are leaders in technology, which is coming to us from our parent company, which is also behind the Bullet Train technology. Commercial production of the Shinrai backhoe will start from April 2018 onwards, and we plan to introduce a four-wheel version later for the export market,” he added.
Also, on display was ZAXIS140H, the latest addition to the GI Series, promising unbeatable performance; ZAXIS140H, the quarry variant of EX210 Super with a heavy-duty track chain, rollers, idler and re-enforced bucket and an indigenous super long front attachment, re-designed and strengthened to suit Indian conditions; ZH200 – the revolutionary hydraulic excavator incorporating advanced technologies adopted from hydraulic, electric and battery powered excavators. Armed with hybrid technology, the product is a testimony of the technological prowess of Hitachi, Japan.
Apart from this, the other products on display were EX70H: an excavator custom-built for quarry and heavy-duty applications; EX110 shovel variant: a first one-of-its-kind in the 10T category; ZAXIS370LCH: custom-made for quarry and granite applications; the super productive and fuel-efficient ZAXIS470H, enabled with ConSite; TL340H, the first hydrostatic wheel loader manufactured in India; and the compact and power packed ZAXIS20U and ZAXIS33U.
The company launched INSITE – a new telematics suite for the EX Series of hydraulic excavators and wheeled products. Armed with a GPRS-based remote machine monitoring application, INSITE helps the customer view machine location and operation through alerts.
Added attractions were Tata Hitachi’s Service Vehicle, the operator training simulator, display of a wide range of customized attachments addressing specific customer needs and genuine Tata Hitachi spare parts.
Sharing his views on the industry growth prospect and demand drivers with NBM&CW on the sidelines of the launch, Mr. Sandeep Singh said that the CE industry will continue to be driven by road construction, followed by irrigation and then mining. The fourth sector, according to him, will be real estate, which is at a very low base today. But with low-cost housing projects set to grow, this sector is very promising as the government has tied up with big players such as Tata, Godrej, Mahindra, and L&T, so everybody is gearing up. “We are looking at the total excavator market closing at 18-19,000 this year, a growth of 14-15%. Year 2018 will be even better, but the market may slacken somewhat in 2019 due to elections.”
Though, he is not too optimistic of the industry achieving 25-30% growth, as a company, with its focus on road construction, he is confident of 14-17% growth this year. “The good thing is that we have been able to stabilize operations and revived the overall company and consolidated our business. Moreover, quality levels have improved and customer satisfaction levels are increasing. In 2017, mining has improved, and in 2018, if some of the tenders are floated, then the upcoming year will be even better for mining,” he commented.
To address the issue of pricing vis-a-vis volume, the company offers two categories of machines: the EX Series and the GI Series. EX is 90% localized, and the GI is at par with worldwide technology. “So, 30% of our machines are the same as what we sell in Hitachi.”
He informed that at least 30% of the contractor segment is going towards technology driven machines. What is also influencing the industry is the new set of young people in the industry who are highly tech-driven, and who want to see the same global features in their machines.”
As regards the current scenario of reduced private investment, he is of the view that the government has made investing easier now. It was not venturing into this for the last two years as there were a lot of NPA, but now they have worked out some solutions, including LIC and Pension funds, and are infusing money into banks to enable them to lend money for infra development. Some private finance companies are now getting into operating lease, in which case, the asset remains with the finance company as they are assured of good business coming from the borrowers/rental companies. So, this operating lease is yet another solution, especially post GST.