Dimitrov Krishnan Vice President and Head of Volvo CE India Shares his Views on Road Construction Equipment Sector
Spurred by road and highway projects, some part of this equipment segments has seen a spurt of growth in the last few months. Will these open opportunities in demand sustaining for the next 3 years?
At Volvo Construction Equipment, we are see growing demand for bigger classes of earthmoving equipment across the world. As for India, the demand for construction and earthmoving equipment, on the whole, is growing. For all Volvo Construction Equipment products, we expect strong growth at close to 40-50% level. Some of the larger classes of earthmoving equipment we offer include wheel loaders like the L220H and L350H, which are popular with large mining companies. The L220H has a bucket capacity of 2.7 m3 to 9.5 m3, operating weight of 31,200 kg to 33,100 kg, and maximum static tipping load at full turn of 20,980 kg. The L350H has a bucket capacity of 6.2 m3 to 12.7 m3, operating weight of 50,000 kg to 56,000 kg and maximum static tipping load at full turn of 34,780 kg. Our biggest sellers in India is the EC480D excavator, followed by the L150H wheel loader, and the EC300D and EC380D excavators. We expect the EC750D and E950E to become best sellers within two to five years and gain more traction as customers look for larger equipment.
According to the Off-Highway Research Indian Annual Review 2018, construction equipment sales in India grew 17 percent in 2017-18, building on the 36 percent upswing witnessed in 2016-17. Going forward, what will drive the Indian construction equipment market?
With the government continuing to place priority on building roads and bridges, the drive to improve infrastructure will unquestionably facilitate further growth in the economy and the construction equipment industry. As a company, Volvo CE has deep roots in India and an established sales and support network. We are well-positioned to play our own part in India’s development and are excited to do so. We remain the only major manufacturer present in all equipment sectors: mining, road building or general construction.
We offer high quality and productive equipment that delivers the best levels of fuel efficiency in the industry. With Volvo CE, our customers can do more with their equipment and downtime is minimized. Our lower fuel consumption improves cost efficiency and means work environments are cleaner. Overall, our customers can enjoy high levels of return on investment and the reassurance of dealing with one of the world’s very best industrial companies.
The current Indian government is placing a lot of emphasis and investments into road infrastructure. How has it helped your industry in gaining good opportunities? Are you doing any projects in this sector? If yes which and what are they?
Our customers like Balasaheb Deshmukh, CMD Deshmukh & Company, say they appreciate Volvo paver’s productivity. Established in 1998, Deshmukh & Co. is in the business of creating infrastructural assets. Recently, the company executed the 130 km National Highway Rehabilitation and Upgradation road stretch from Aurangabad to Dhule in record time. “Believe it or not, we completed this project in four months flat,” Deshmukh said. “Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But we did it — thanks to Volvo!”. Deshmukh says the Volvo P4370B Paver is easily the best in its class in terms of paving quality and trouble-free operations. With operator-friendly controls and better visibility, the paver helps builds roads faster and better than any other. That, according to Deshmukh, is a definite advantage in his business where margins often come under pressure. “Our competitors are stunned. ‘How do you manage to execute National Highway projects so fast, so well?’ they ask. I simply smile at them, pointing to the Volvo P4370B Paver,” he said.
To help customers better understand the range of Volvo equipment available to support infrastructure projects, we recently unveiled a 100-meter road-building showcase at our Customer Center in Bengaluru. The project provides a concrete example of how Volvo equipment can help contractors construct roads, from the soil layer to the concrete on top. For example, our EC200, 20-ton excavator, is helping contractors achieve a low cycle time during mass excavations. The EC200D is one of the fastest machines in its class with 10-15% better productivity than similar excavators. The excavator features our famed fuel efficiency, a bucket breakout force of 123 kN and an arm tear out the force of 96 kN, which helps it deliver high job site productivity and fast cycle times.
What is the need of the hour besides technological advancement in road construction equipment sector?
As infrastructure development in India moves into the 21st Century, construction operations are in the spotlight like never before. The fine margins on modern job sites mean that securing a small advantage in something as routine as equipment choice can translate into a big difference in profitability. With Volvo CE, construction companies know they can take advantage of equipment with best-in-class productivity, and when support’s needed world-class backup is available. Volvo has one of the largest and most experienced dealer networks in India, able to provide expert advice and support whenever it’s needed, and there is a range of Customer Service Agreements available.
The most comprehensive is the Gold Customer Support Agreement, and this option is increasingly popular in India as work levels rise and construction schedules are squeezed. It offers preventive maintenance, inspection and repairs carried out at the earliest opportunity by trained Volvo Service Technicians and gives companies the best possible peace of mind. Our company is well-known for delivering some of the most advanced designs in the industry, which results in leading levels of productivity. And equally important is reliability.
What new equipment are you planning to add to your existing portfolio?
At bauma Conexpo India 2018, we will be introducing two new models to the region. The two new machines will help Indian contractors meet the growing demand for high-performing, reliable equipment for infrastructure projects such as road building and earthmoving. As for the latest product we launched in India, that would be the EC950E excavator. The 90-tonne excavator offers an ideal combination of power and stability, to handle high capacity duties in the toughest applications. With a bucket breakout force of 424 kN and an arm tear out the force of 408 kN, the EC950E offers superior digging force, particularly when working with hard and heavy materials.
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