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JCB India sells more machines this year

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Mr Sandeep Singh, Vice President-Sales and Marketing, JCB India Ltd, at the launch of JCB 3DX Backhoe Loader in Chennai on Tuesday. Bijoy Ghosh
Mr Sandeep Singh, Vice President-Sales and Marketing, JCB India Ltd, at the launch of JCB 3DX Backhoe Loader in Chennai on Tuesday. Bijoy Ghosh

Our Bureau

Chennai, July 12

THE Rs 1,000-crore JCB India Ltd in 2004 sold 5,450 `machines' construction equipment such as backhoe loaders, loading shovels, tracked excavators and skid steer loaders.

This is substantially more than the 3,500-odd units it sold the previous year.

The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of JC Bamford Excavators Ltd of UK, follows a January-December financial year.

According to company officials, about 60 per cent of the construction equipment market is for backhoe loaders, machines that have a digging contrivance at one end and a loader at the other. JCB India has a 80-per cent share in this market, says Mr Sandeep Singh, Vice-President - Sales and Marketing.

How does JCB account for a chunk of the market share with competition from players such as Caterpillar and John Deere? According to Mr Singh, the company's network of 37 dealers and 150 outlets across the country is a clinching factor. Other players do not have such an extensive presence.

JCB has been in India longer than the others (since 1979), as a joint venture with Escorts till 2003 and later as JCB India Ltd. Over time, the company has built a big network. Creating a dealer network is a challenge because dealers don't come unless there are volumes, and volume sales do not happen unless there is a dealership network.

On Tuesday, JCB India announced the launch of an improved version of its backhoe loader, which it calls JCB 3D Super Backhoe Loader. The machine costs about Rs 20 lakh. According to Mr K. Gomathinayakam, Managing Director, Vijai Earthmoving Equipment Pvt Ltd, JCB's dealer for Tamil Nadu, the equipment is mostly bought by investors who let them out on hire. At the current rates about Rs 600 an hour the cost of the machine can be recovered in two and a half years.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 13, 2005)
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