Having attained 75 percent share in backhoe loaders segment in the country, JCB is known as manufacturer targeting the volumes market with sales en masse. However, the perception is questioned by Mr. Sandeep Singh, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Product Support, JCB India limited. This is when he says, “the understanding that JCB has been targeting the volumes market should be discarded. This is as because every JCB product rolled out of the Ballabgarh or Pune plant is manufactured adhering to JCB’s "quality standards." And as a reason the products rolled out, comes at a price." He elaborates saying, “JCB’s production quality standards are same globally, as in its parent factory establishment in United Kingdom.
JCB’s Ballabgarh plant manufactures the backhoe loaders comprising 3D, 3DX, and the 4DX series, while the Pune plant, known as the heavy line manufacturing unit, produces 20–21 tonne and the recently launched 14 tonne tracked excavators. It also undertakes assembling of the newly launched VM115 JCB Vibromax soil compactors.
JCB produces five product categories for the Indian market that includes: backhoe loaders, wheeled loaders, excavators, skid steer loaders, and soil compactors.
Advanced Product Features
Introduction of advanced product features has been a passion for JCB. On improved features put in every JCB product, says Mr. Amit Gossain, General Manager Marketing, JCB India Limited adding, "adherence to quality production parameters has enabled us to well consolidate our market presence.” Sustained development is being undertaken towards incorporating advanced features in the JCB products.” Depending on customers feed back, the company has always been incorporating improvised features in its products, he elaborates.
In accordance with this, the bread and butter product line of the company, the 3DX backhoe loader has been equipped with 76 horse power HP fuel efficient engine, with increased coolers size for better performance in hot and dusty working conditions and has made better provision for operators cabin for greater visibility.
Additional improvised features of the 3DX super includes, new transmission designed to provide high traction forces and enhanced life for continuous loading duties. This apart, it has increased shovel capacity of 1.1 cu.m with high break out force for higher loader productivity.
JCB’s 210 tracked excavator has features consisting of automatic machine control systems (AMCS) for troubleshooting and suggesting solutions for maintenance of the machine during performance.
Deriving Optimum Output
The JCB backhoe loaders are multipurpose machines and the company has made its effort in incorporating advanced operational features for its smooth function. However, officials are concerned that the Indian construction market has not been able to derive optimum output from the machines by using all its functions. According to Mr. Sandeep Singh,” the machines are versatile in their characters with its front and back loaders but the Indian market as of now has laid emphasis on the back functions only.” He mentions, to acquaint the users from utilizing the functions of the backhoe loaders holistically, the JCB dealers would be asked to pass out the knowledge of the multipurpose functionality of the machines to the users. This would be done through training the operators apart from educating the user groups on the operation and maintenance of the machines.
Mr. Singh informed that the dealers would be undertaking the expansion of their infrastructure as per JCB’s guidelines. He said that dealers would be equipped with parts and service van. Besides, additional areas of logistics are being improved for better service to the customers from the dealer’s end. JCB has 44 dealers across the country at present.
JCB launched the JCB Vibromax soil compactor VM115 for the Indian market, post acquisition of the German company Vibromax, has carried out some modifications in the machines as per JCB’s quality standards. In accordance with this, additional improvement have been made in the equipment. In the first year, JCB looks up to capture 12-14% of market share in the 11-12 tonnes segment.
JCB Vibromax which is being assembled at Pune heavy line plant, has an 80:20 localization element. With increased localization, the cost of the equipment would come down. JCB undertakes its vendor development based on its vendor’s category as ranked under ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ segments. Segment ‘a’ consists of vendors having state–of–the– art component manufacturing facilities. JCB provides vendor development support as per its requirement of product development.
JCB would be displaying some of these products along with its other extensive product range at the forthcoming Excon 2007 exhibition. JCB is one of the important Co–sponsors of this mega show
Presenting his perspective on the growth prospects of JCB, Mr. Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director, JCB India Limited, said that JCB India has grown at the rate of 30 percent during 2005–07. We hope the growth in 2008 will remain same for us as it was in previous years. The company is looking forward to sell 13,000 units in 2007.
Demand of machines primarily its backhoe loaders would be coming from the road building projects, bridge, flyover projects, and other core construction activities. Besides, demand would also come from PWD’s, municipal corporations, and other government departments. The company is also looking for higher sale in the agriculture sector for its backhoe loaders, Mr. Sondhi added.
JCB perceives demand of its other product lines would be catered by ongoing road expansion projects in the country. It hinted out that JCB would be closely looking to introduce tracked excavators for the Indian market involving a capacity range of 8.5 tonne to 11.5 tonne. This is owing to the fact, that the Indian construction market is graduating towards the use of higher capacity range excavators. On other range of equipment to be introduced, JCB is contemplating to bring its telehandler range of equipment led by large scale real estate construction activities.
JCB has 270 sales and service outlets across the country and it has parts centre in Ballabgarh and parts depots in Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata. JCB possesses a 55 percent market share in the over all construction equipment industry segment and 75 percent market share in the backhoe loaders segment. JCB, U.K started its operations in India in 1979 as a joint venture with Escorts. In 2003, it became a 100 percent subsidiary of Joseph Cyril Bamford, U.K.