Hafeez Khan, Managing Director - Manitou South Asia

Hafeez Khan, Managing Director - Manitou South Asia
The upcoming emission norms are clear-cut benchmarks for an OE‎M to provide the most productive machine with good fuel efficiency. Our plant in Greater Noida is working hard to provide machines with the lowest emissions and better productivity per litre of fuel consumed, along with the Manitou quality standards. We expect to release these machines very soon with engines complying with BS-4 norms.

Choosing the right machine for the right application is the key to owning and operating cost.
Productivity requires an analysis of soil types, site conditions and support machines. Another key O&O variable that owners have control over is the quality of their asset maintenance. Using spurious consumables may save money in the short-term but can result in more repairs and shorter component lifespan over the long-term. Operator training and skill also plays a part in component life.

As an OEM, we always recommend our customer to use genuine spares and lubricants, which give a better and justified operating cost. Our R&D is a never-ending process. We have a wide range of products such as our very versatile Skid steer loader; our Backhoe loader equipped with UCH features which makes it one of the most fuel efficient backhoe loaders in the industry; Aerial Work Platform in both Diesel and Electric versions; and the Telehandler.

Last year, Manitou and Deutz joined forces and introduced two prototype telehandlers: one as a hybrid, and another a full electric system machine, to meet increasing demand for such vehicles. This is the first time Deutz had incorporated prototype electric drives into Manitou equipment, and as a result the Manitou MT 1135 has been launched as a prototype.

In today’s digital world it would be a losing situation if we do not make use of IoT and AI.
Most companies are making investments in digital platforms to improve efficiency and render more profitable their extant capacity. They are adding sensors to products to provide data and critical analytics that predict breakdowns, give service updates, and improve productivity. The challenge today is to educate the machine operator about the latest technology on our machines; and the good part is that the youth today are open to learning and adapting the updated features in our construction equipment.

Manitou 200ATJE OXYGEN

Manitou’s ATJ 200e Oxygen is the group’s first electric all-terrain aerial platform.
More recently, Manitou has launched its 100% electric range – the Oxygen line – which includes a new aerial platform and a pair of telehandler models. We have launched our first electric all terrain aerial platform with working height of up to 20m, which works at par with the current diesel-powered platforms. Equipped with a 48V battery, it can achieve upto one working day on full charge, even in adverse weather conditions. With a working height of up to 20m for a maximum capacity of 230kg, the model provides the same performance as a diesel-powered version.

The MRT 2550 h Oxygen Lab telehandler is a hybrid prototype version of the diesel MRT 2550 model, capable of operating in 100% electric mode. Retaining the same characteristics as the diesel-powered version, it has 25 m lifting height for a capacity of 5 tons. We are ready and are excited to launch our hybrid products as soon as Indian market is open for such hybrids.

India is the first region outside the European nations to adopt Euro-V ahead of U.S, Japan and China.
Manitou MRT easy 1440
In March 2018, MoRTH released the BS-4 CEV emission norms which are in general alignment with Euro-4 and Euro-5 norms. As per the International Council of Clean Technology, India is the first region outside the European nations to adopt Euro-V ahead of U.S, Japan and China. This shows the commitment and concern of our nation towards the environment and its conservation.

The upcoming norms from Oct 2020 are clear-cut benchmarks for an OEM to provide the most productive machine with good fuel efficiency. To ensure this, our plant in Greater Noida is working hard to provide machines with the lowest emissions and better productivity per litre of fuel consumed. These machines undergo rigorous field-testing procedures to ensure that the customer receives the best in class product with Manitou quality standards. We expect to release these machines very soon with engines that comply with BS-4 norms.

The impending BS-4 emission norms is going to have a huge impact on market performance and sales of wheeled equipment.
As per various surveys and tests, 35% of the cost of owning a machine pertains to the fuel burnt. Hence, regulating this cost will be of major importance. The BS-4 emission norms for construction equipment is going to have a huge impact on market performance and sales of wheeled equipment, especially with hike in prices by the engine manufacturers. If the price hike is going to cascade down on the end-customer, there will be a price impact on the overall machine purchase. Majority of the customers, especially for the backhoe loaders, are in the hirer segment. Herein lies the importance of productivity and reliability of the machines. In short, we can say, that getting more value out of every drop of fuel burnt would be the mantra which all would be focussing on.

In the near future, mini excavators would prevail only for specialized job applications.
As far as competition and shift to mini excavators is concerned, majority of the customer base for wheeled machines is generally the hirer segment. It can be said that, with job sites being far from the base stations, wheeled machines would remain the prevalent choice as they would help in giving better productivity and versatility to the job site. Hence, in the near future, mini excavators would prevail only for specialized job applications.

We also see the lower horsepower and the more compact backhoe as having very good potential to expand the current range of backhoes. However, the compact segment as a replacement for the Mini excavator and the current backhoe range will not happen immediately; but we need to keep our eyes open for the right time to develop such machines when demand begins to rise.

Spare parts availability is always a challenge and a determining factor in reducing machine downtime.
Manitou MTX 1840
It is our endeavour to work along with our dealers to have the right inventory profile and increase the availability of spare parts. Aftermarket support has always been our most important domain where we have focussed in setting industry benchmarks by delivering a quick proactive response.

Since long, Manitou South Asia has invested in providing direct Sales, Aftermarket & Technical/Training support through its outlets (Manitou SSP) which are well equipped with Spare Parts, Training, Service Facilities and a skilled team. We are also in the process of consolidating the spread and reach of our parent warehouses to cater to the ever-demanding requirements of parts.

Major financial institutions and NBFCs have business tie ups with us to help end-customers to obtain the best finance options and also better rates.

Our Sales and Financing teams are working to provide the best support to customers in terms of ease of machine owning. Also, buyback options are termed as one of the best tools to win more and more customers’ loyalty. Winning customer loyalty is one of our best practices and we are looking forward to a fruitful year ahead, keeping in mind the hurdles that are going to come in achieving industrial growth.

The CE industry in the coming five years will surely see significant growth.
In the calendar year 2018, the construction equipment industry registered a growth of about 30 per cent in unit terms, particularly backhoes and excavators driven by growth across the sectors. However, the growth curve started shrinking in early 2019 due to contraction in road projects in the run-up to the general elections, followed by heavy monsoon in some parts of the country. All OEMs have experienced a dip in their sales of backhoes and other construction equipment.

Various Government initiatives like ‘Housing for All’ and ‘Smart City Mission’ will drive the growth of the sector. The construction industry will be supported by the government’s plan to transform urban India. Under the 100 Smart Cities Mission, the government aims to provide a more sustainable and cleaner environment by 2020. In a bid to rehabilitate the slums, provide housing at affordable prices and ensure good quality homes, the government is focusing on social housing development. Demand for electricity is projected to increase over the forecast period, due to industrialization, urbanization, population growth, and per capita energy consumption.

To reduce the country’s reliance on imported energy, the government is developing its renewable energy infrastructure. Increasing momentum to develop infrastructure in the country is attracting major global players. The sector is one of the largest receivers of FDI inflows to India. Taking into account all the above projects, the CE industry in the coming five years will surely see significant growth.
NBM&CW December 2019
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