Last year, the company launched its first product - Backhoe Loader. What has been its market response so far? Has the company been able to reach pan-India presence stage in the market?
It has been our endeavor to engineer a machine that is ideally suited for the Indian operating conditions, delivering value on the key customer requirements such as low fuel consumption, low operating & maintenance cost, higher reliability & durability, and supported by an excellent product & customer support. A measure of our success has been the encouraging customer response and acceptance that we have thus far received, with our customers placing repeat orders within the States where the Leyland Deere 435 BHL has been launched. Our network will achieve a pan-India status by the end of this fiscal year 2012-13.
Based on a study of application of your Back hoe loader, the company had plans to redesign BL's entire geometry to take higher load and enhance its rock-breaking capabilities that your competitors are already offering. What is the current status of this technical exercise?
Both the Design & Manufacturing technology that are used to produce the Leyland Deere 435 Backhoe Loader provide higher reliability & durability for the Indian Market that demands higher duty cycle, tougher operating conditions & applications. All key applications including applications with corner load conditions were mapped & the 435 BHL was extensively tested in all of these applications. Today, the Leyland Deere 435 BHL population in the market is being used in a wide range of applications, some of which include very tough conditions. The Leyland Deere 435 BHL will soon be available with additional attachments such as breakers, combination buckets etc., which will further increase its application range.
Apart from above product line, what is the current status of developing other CE products to compliment construction equipment range of the company?
The CE market is set to grow in the long term with the government's continued focus on infrastructure projects. Leyland Deere will consider appropriate CE products suitable for the market & will provide the same on the long run. Our immediate focus for now is on the Backhoe Loader & Wheel Loader product lines which together constitute over 50% of the CE product space.
What are the salient features of company's Customer Care package, including information about company well placed distribution network, pre- and post-sales services and spare parts supply facilities?
To ensure that our customers get the best uptime in the industry, the Leyland Deere 435 BHL is supported by an innovative customer care package called the C.A.R.E. Program which is being delivered through the highly efficient Leyland Deere channel network that is rapidly growing across the country. The C.A.R.E. Program includes an extended warranty of a year after the 1st year of warranty, industry-best restoration time for the equipment, periodic engineer visits to the customer during the warranty period and also an insurance cover of Rs.2 lakhs for the customer's operator.
What is company's assessment on how the CE market in the country would unfold in future? Is the present phase temporary; and CE market is expected to bounce back massive infrastructure development waiting ahead?
The demand in the construction equipment market is largely driven by the planned investments for infrastructure projects and the economic growth of the country. Under the on-going 12th Five Year Plan (April 2012 – March 2017), the government has planned for an investment of nearly $1 trillion on infrastructure. This investment is double that of the 11th Five Year Plan and is the highest ever for a Five Year plan. If supported by faster environmental clearances, land acquisition and project clearances, this will have a positive impact on the construction equipment industry. The present phase is temporary and the CE market will bounce back supported by these factors.
Do you think in the present slowdown phase, the CE companies need to tweak their business models in terms of more proactive brand marketing, re-visit their distribution strategies and fine tune their operations so as to remain relevant in the present market environment and bounce back as the situation improves having initiated such measures? How is the company dealing with the present slowdown spell to maintain positive business performance business sentiments within and outside?
The CE market is going through a slow down due to delay in project clearances, delay in land & environment clearances and increased fuel & production costs. This is expected to continue in the next year as well, after which the market will subsequently bounce back. Being a new player with a growing network, the current slowdown is not a concern for us at Leyland Deere. Our focus will continue to be in expanding our channel & network, and in preparing ourselves to make the best of the opportunities that will arise when the market grows.