BY SUMANTRA DAS
The Indian excavator industry largely believes that the segment will certainly witness growth in the long term. The industry is betting big on the back of rapid growth seen in the infrastructure sector. From roadways to airways, ports to airports and power production facilities, the infrastructure segment is becoming vast and robust. Owing to this fast-paced growth, excavators seek considerable application in urban infrastructure and road development. Moreover, favourable government policies on infrastructure projects and construction equipment would add impetus to the demand for excavators in India.
“If the government’s focus on infrastructure remains consistent, the market should double in the next five years. We are predicting an average growth rate of 20% during this period,” Vijay Sharma, executive director, Kobelco Construction Equipment, said.
An internal analysis revealed that the Indian excavator market, although nascent, is expected to gain considerable momentum in coming years. Recent large-scale developments in the construction sector as well as a surging need for technologically advanced and rugged equipment for earth-moving purposes, has lead to this upswing in demand.
According to industry data, the total volume of excavators was 7,944 units in 2009, which rose to 10,500 units (a growth rate of 32%) in 2010 and is estimated to go up to 22,500 units in 2014, a growth of around 183% as compared to 2009.
This growth can be accorded to the massive upsurge in number of players in India. With companies like Kobelco, Sumitomo, Hyundai, Doosan, Chetra, Liugong, etc. joining the league, the number of players has more than doubled from what it was a decade ago.
Most OEMs are gearing up to address this rising demand of specialised machinery. While some leading players like Volvo, JCB and Kobelco, have launched new models, a few others are showcasing upgraded versions.
“The last few years have witnessed a slight slack in demand due to the economic slowdown. However, the scenario will change once the infrastructure sector is back on track. We are absolutely confident about India’s long-term growth prospects. Currently, JCB is the only company that has been successful in expanding its market share in the excavator segment. We have seen a considerable increase in exports in the past few years,” Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO, JCB India, said.
Vikram Sharma, MD and CEO, Kobelco Construction Equipment, India added, “Despite the slack in construction equipment market, we remain the preferred choice of customers on account of various product developments that we have done irrespective of adverse market conditions.”
“In 2010, most OEMs decided to invest towards building capacity and thus came up with new models. Today, many of these models are moving fast, while there are others that are yet to pick up steam,” AM Murlidharan, president, Volvo CE, pointed out.
Today, general contracting is the biggest market for excavators. This includes roads and highways, construction sites and mass excavation applications. The Indian defence sector too, is procuring excavators.
The industry largely believes that the excavator segment will certainly witness growth in the long term and market dynamics and infrastructural development will play a critical role in deciding the future of heavy equipment industry.