Rajiv Chaturvedi, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, After Service & Parts, Hyundai Construction Equipment India
Current & Forecasted Demand
After a dismal performance in 2020, when the MHE market shrunk to around 11000 units from 13000+ in the previous year, the market has shown a substantial jump from 2300 units in Q1-2020 to 4000 units in Q1-2021. This could be due to the negligible business in Q1-2020 due to the complete lockdown.
We are now expecting a double digit y-o-y growth of 18-20% this year, when the market is expected to cross 13000 units. Key drivers of growth are FMCG industries, the Warehousing segment, the Rental market and the E-commerce companies.
Opportunities & Challenges
The impact of the pandemic, which led to low demand from all segments resulted in overall shrinking of the market in 2020; the MHE market size was a little less than 11000 units. Compared to CY 2019, it declined by 18- 20%.
The market is now showing demand growth as new opportunities have come up from E-commerce and the Rental segment.
Growth of the e-commerce/online business will surely result in the creation and expansion of warehouses, which will further augment demand from this segment, especially for warehousing equipment.
Cost absorption by customers is a big challenge mainly due to a low CapEx budget across industries. An abnormal increase in sea freight (400-500%) has put a lot of pressure on importers and the cost of equipment has increased substantially. Even on the supply side there are limitations and almost every MHE player is facing this challenge, which is affecting delivery schedules to customers.
Technological Advancements in Forklifts
Due to an increased focus on protecting the environment and to optimize operation costs, electric forklifts are becoming more popular and in many sectors customers are replacing their diesel fleet with electric. Even though electric forklifts are very economical in the long run, their higher initial cost is a limiting factor.
Electric forklifts come with advanced safety features such as OPS, Std wet disc brake system, curve control system, programmable speed control, fault diagnose system, etc. Currently, the option of Lithium Ion Battery Forklifts are also available in the market, and the driverless vehicle (AGVs) for specialized application is also gaining popularity.
Demand for Heavy Duty Forklifts
Demand is increasing moderately for heavy-duty forklifts of 8T and above capacity. Comprising 8-10% of the total market of 12500-13000 units, these have a low volume in the Indian market since they cater to a specific segment such as heavy engineering industries, ports, and to a certain extent, even airports.
Competition in the Market
India is a growing market and is attracting a number of international players like Toyota, Jungheinrich, KION etc, which is increasing the competition for domestic players like Godrej, ACE and others. Manufacturers are therefore enhancing their products with new technologies and advanced features.
Hyundai products are manufactured in South Korea; they have the latest technology for delivering high performance and ease of operation. Features include wet disc brake system as standard, full AC drive, maintenance-free motors, dual drive motors etc, all of which make our products extremely safe and productive.
Our focus is to provide solutions to customers and not just sell products. For example, our Saath Saath scheme, which gives 4 years of continuous service to customers, is the first in the industry.
Hyundai’s MHE business
Hyundai is a globally renowned name in the MHE segment. It has been present in India since 2015-16 with a wide range of products to meet all customer requirements. We also customize our products for specific application needs.
We have Diesel Forklifts ranging from 1.5T to 25T capacity; Battery Forklifts of 1.6T to 5T capacity; and Lithium Ion Battery Forklifts of 2T to 3.5T. We offer warehousing solutions with our varied range of BOPTs, Stackers, Reach Trucks, Order Pickers, equipment for Cold Storage application, etc, and AGVs for special applications. We can proudly say that we fulfil all MHE needs.
Focus on Safety
Hyundai offers standard as well as optional safety features in its machines. These include automatic reduction of speed in corners, OPS, load display, wet disc brakes, red zone lights, spot lights, cameras, programmable travel speed, etc. We also provide customized safety requirements such as seat belt interlocking (the equipment will not move unless seat belt is fastened), finger print bio metric system for authorised operation, rear camera for better visibility and safer driving, and so on.
Rental Market in India
The MHE rental market comprises 25 - 30% of the total market of approx 13000 units, and is growing rapidly due to paucity of labour, expectation of higher productivity, safer working environment, and the shift from Capex to Opex.
Many new organized players like Sudhir Power, Hitec Matflow, our channel partners Yash Engg and New Gentech have entered the rental segment and Hyundai is proud to be associated with them for their rental requirements.
Hyundai’s machines are ideal for rental operations and are a preferred choice of users due to their rugged design for continuous working, safety features, low running cost, and customisation options.
Plans & Growth Strategies
Our plans in the coming years include increasing our sales and service network to be closer to our customers, and have customer- friendly policies like options for extended warranty, service support for 4 years with our Saath Hamesha scheme, offer for CMC as per customer requirements, and so on.
We are bringing new products and technologies like Lithium Ion battery forklifts, Lithium Ion pallet trucks, new and improved 9 Series of order pickers, upgraded 9U Series of battery forklifts – all of which will give higher performance. The size of the market in 2021 is expected to be 13000~14000 units. Class 1 and 2 will comprise 28% of the market, Class 3 will comprise 32%, and the rest will be Class 4 and 5. The major share of the business will be comprised of up to 5T capacity (85-90% of the total market share). We are focused on all these segments as we are aware of the changing market dynamics and our aim is to be ranked amongst the top 3 international MHE players in the next 2-3 years with a market share of >15% at least.