Earthmoving & CE market to grow to $ 22.7 bn by 2020
A. M. Muralidharan, President, Volvo Construction Equipment – India, anticipates though there is a slowdown in the market, it has to grow as per the forecast
Volvo Construction Equipment is one of the most dynamic companies in the industry. A. M. Muralidharan shares how Volvo has made its mark without sacrificing the quality of its products.
India being a developing country has a huge potential in terms of infrastructure development; so where do you see earthmoving equipment market in India in coming years?The Indian earthmoving and construction equipment (ECE) market has significant growth potential. As per a CII-IECIAL report, from total revenues of $3.3 billion in 2010, it has potential to grow to $22.7 billion by 2020 and grow from over 60,000 units in 2010 to 330,000 in 2020. Though there is a slowdown in the market, we expect it to pick up by Q1 ‘13 and grow as per the forecast.
India’s infrastructure industry has the biggest potential for growth and opportunities for investment. We see the construction industry on the rise and foresee a positive trend in equipment purchase with more players entering into the aggregate industry. Some demand-driving factors for construction equipment in India include heavy investments in various infrastructural projects by public and private enterprises in areas like road construction and maintenance, ports, power plants, telecommunication sector, urban infrastructural developments etc. Additionally, the entry of international and domestic players has led the market to open up.
Today, only the road construction equipment market stands at an industry volume of 2,500 machines per year. This is currently growing at 5-10 per cent and expected to maintain that rate for the next 5 years. The sign for road construction segment is very promising with the government planning to invest Rs.10,000 crore and introduce external commercial borrowing.
The infrastructure segment in India is also set to take off with the government planning to invest around $1 trillion in infrastructure development and fast-tracking projects spanning expressways, railways and ports. This will lead to growth of the ECE industry.
What kind of competition you face in this market?Earlier we saw competition from European and Japanese manufacturers out of India, and recently we have seen countries like China entering the market. As more and more companies come in, we expect the market to expand.
We are celebrating 15 years of Volvo in India, and I am happy to say that we have been able to position our brand and products very well in the construction equipment industry.What are the different types of earthmoving equipment you offer and their specialty?We launched quite a few products at Excon in November 2011 like soil compactor, asphalt compactor, 70-tonne excavator, EC210B prime and EC290BLC prime excavators, D-series excavators EC380D and EC480D, a mid-sized paver and L220G wheel loader. Our other products include wheel loaders (Tier-3 engine, 3-45 tonnes), hydraulic excavators (Tier-2 engine, 11-70 tonnes), vibratory soil compactors of 11 tonnes, vibratory asphalt compactors of 8-10 tonnes, motor graders (Tier-3 engine, 15-22 tonnes), articulated haulers (Tier-3 engine, 25-40 tonnes), paver finishers 5.5 m to 10m and pneumatic tire rollers 22 tonnes. The machines feature the latest technology in engines and are much faster.
The 70-tonne EC700C crawler excavator has harmonised hydraulics to tackle the most difficult conditions and the toughest materials. It is especially suitable for mass excavation, production trenching, rock-face stripping, mine loading and beyond. The EC210B prime and EC290BLC prime excavators feature tailored hydraulics to provide industry leading fuel efficiency, especially during hard trenching or mass excavation. The D-series excavators EC380D and EC480D excel in heavy digging and lifting duties, offering superior cycle times and greater fuel efficiency.The L220G features an engine and driveline system that improves fuel efficiency, productivity, smoothness, serviceability and operator comfort. The L220G engine is joined with a drive train, hydraulics and lifting systems that are all designed and produced by Volvo to work in productive harmony. The improvements in lifting and breakout forces coupled with the Volvo patented TP linkage ensure smooth, full buckets, resulting in faster cycle times and increased productivity. It is one of the latest generations of wheel loaders from Volvo Construction Equipment to enter the Indian market.
What kind of innovations are you making in your product?Volvo Construction Equipment is one of the most dynamic companies in the industry. We have not only grown rapidly over the last decade, we have done so with the innovation of our thinking and our close relationships with our growing family of customers. We have done so without sacrificing the quality of our products.
We are proud to be a brand that has brought in technological innovations to the CE market in India. For example, we have drastically reduced service requirements on articulated haulers, introduced torque parallel linkage and the Volvo Care Cab with advanced features like ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) that allow operators to feel safe, be comfortable and in control. Volvo CE is the first manufacturer to introduce a telematics system called CareTrack that allows remote monitoring and machine diagnostics by using exclusive Machine Tracking Information System (MATRIS). CareTrack combines two independent systems, GPS and the mobile phone network or data via satellite. These systems are coordinated in CareTrack, and only two items need to be installed in the machine: a small computer with an integrated GPS receiver and modem plus an antenna. It allows customers to monitor a machine through GSM connection and provide suitable maintenance suggestions. With CareTrack, a customer gets the knowledge and information he needs to make the right decisions about his machine and increase profitability. The customer can access the information by entering into a password protected website, which gives him detailed information about his machine. All of these have given Volvo CE a distinct competitive advantage.We are also constantly innovating to make equipment that are fuel efficient while reducing emissions and environmental impact; OptiShift is a prime example of this. Volvo’s unique OptiShift technology consists of two important features: a torque converter with lock-up and free-wheel stator and Volvo’s patented Reverse By Braking (RBB) function. The combination of this technology has reduced fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent as well as increased machine performance and productivity.
Volvo believes in skill development. We have been actively investing in training and competence development to ensure there is trained workforce to operate advanced machinery. We have an operator training centre with all the latest machineries and simulators. Volvo has partnered with GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF), the corporate social responsibility arm of GMR Group to offer an operators training course which provides free training to under-privileged youth in India to operate construction machinery.
We introduced our remanufactured (REMAN) programme in 2011 to encourage users to keep their Volvo machines genuinely a ‘Volvo’. It allows Volvo users to have their used components renovated to the same condition as new, thus eliminating the scope of environmental damage. This programme aims at creating an eco-cycle and is testimony to Volvo’s commitment toward a greener environment.
What kind of engine do you prefer for your earthmoving equipment and why?Volvo CE has been one of the earliest pioneers in driving higher fuel efficiency, and one of the earliest in recognising the environmental issue. Environmental care, in fact, is one of Volvo CE’s core values, and Volvo CE is ensuring that we meet all environmental standards set by the Government of India. We understand that fuel has two adverse attributes to it. One, it costs money and the more an equipment uses, the more expensive it gets. Two, fuel consumption creates pollution, and hence the need to make engines even more judicious.
Volvo CE meets Tier-3 emission requirements and provides solutions for the most-effective fleet management. Volvo CE takes a holistic approach to fuel efficiency by delivering fuel efficiency across all elements of the machines via engines, systems, operator behaviour and future technologies while increasing the productivity for its customers. Hybrid technology is one part of this wider range of fuel-saving solutions.
The Volvo diesel engine is at the heart of the company’s range of products. Based on well-proven, robust technology, the Volvo V-ACT engine range meets the needs of Indian customers by providing increased machine performance along with reduced emissions which are ahead of the increasingly strict regulations on exhaust pollutants. Along with environmental improvements, the V-ACT engine also represents new achievements in combustion efficiency and overall engine performance. With new fuel injection, air management technology and advanced electronics, the inherent potential of the V-ACT engine is then tailored by Volvo engineers to meet the specific performance criteria required by differing machine types and applications.
What is your market share currently? Are you expecting any increase in the same?Volvo CE’s strategy is robust enough to work in a range of economic scenarios and designed to be achievable throughout the business cycle of the construction equipment industry.
As a market leader, Volvo CE has been able to increase market share in key products and markets as customers preferred the assurance of a dependable and strong brand such as Volvo. And being part of the Volvo Group means that we have been actively investing in technology for the future, even in the depths of the downturn. This will make us a stronger company tomorrow.
The decisive actions we take at Volvo CE will enable us to emerge stronger, leaner, more efficient and more profitable when markets improve. Not only that, our product range will be of a higher quality and better focused and supported. Our recent launches, for example, include a new series of excavators – EC 250D, EC 300D, EC 380D and EC 480D – that are more productive and fuel efficient.