With a new plant in Pune, Wirtgen is hopeful to get more products and increase its sales and service representation
Wirtgen Group, one of the world’s market leaders in mobile road building and road rehabilitation technologies, recently completed its 20 years of operations in India. The milestone was celebrated by inviting over 1,000 customers and partners to visit Pune plant and witness the Technology Day and the official opening of their new plant for crushing and screening equipment on 27th March.
The event also marked the roll out of the first Kleemann screen produced on India as well as the 1,000th Hamm compactor from the plant.
Stefan Wirtgen, President, Wirtgen Group and Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India, inaugurated the new plant.
New plant and new hopeMore than 1,000 customers, suppliers and business partners witnessed the event. Wirtgen also conducted a live demo for over an hour to showcase technologies such as cold milling, cold recycling, asphalt paving, compaction as well as crushing and screening technologies where these new generation machines were in operation.
Commenting on the company’s roadmap for the Indian market Mr Wirtgen said, “Our job is to continuously grow in India. We consider India as an important market for us, and it is a fascinating country full of opportunities. Therefore, we want to grow our manufacturing base in India, want to get more products and increase our sales and service representation.”
He also expressed the positive response the group has received from the Indian business over the past 20 years. “Our turnover rose even though the market was flat in the past years,” he explains. “But we are here for long term and see a great future. Also, the market is getting much better and the feedback which we are getting is perfect.”
Mr Palagiri also shared his views. “We have inaugurated a new plant,” he adds, “where we will be producing the Kleemann screens, initially for the Indian market. In Germany, we produce the higher capacity screens, but most of the other screens will now be produced in India not only for the domestic market but for export as well. In the same plant, we will have production of Vogele jaw and cone crushers for which the design work has just started. We expect the first machine to roll out in 12-18 months time. The design process is being done jointly in India and Germany. The same process what we did for Hamm products and Vogele pavers which will roll out by next March-April.”
New plant and innovationWirtgen is presently concentrating on 200- to 300-tonne capacity, both jaw and cone crushers. “When we come with this product, we are able to offer standard quality products at competitive price for the Indian market,” remarked Mr Palagiri. “We have adopted the product for the Indian market like using a local Cummins engine as well as all the new technologies.”
Wirtgen is also planning to do the same for Vogele pavers, which is going to be launched by the same time next year. Mr Palagiri added, “The wheeled and the tract pavers will have 6-metre width to meet the specific requirement for the state highway jobs in India, where they are trying to convert single lane into double lane. For the screens, we will have a range from 200-600 tonnes.”
The market size for this class of pavers is about 300 machines, and Wirtgen is expecting at least 30 per cent market share. At later stage, the company is also planning to export. “If we look at the world market, road building equipment category is getting divided based on the engine regulation and not much on technology,” explained Mr Palagiri. “We have US, Europe, Australia and Japan with Tier 4, while the rest of the world with Tier 2 or Tier 3. But most of the Tier 2 countries are gradually shifting to Tier 3. So the products that we are going to develop in India, except the screens, will be for Tier 3. With that we have a chance to export to any market in any Tier 3 countries.”
Wirtgen has displayed many new technologies like milling of the road. People just keep on doing layers, dig it out, throw it and put their layers. Now Wirtgen machines are capable of removing the aggregates, and there is tremendous saving of natural resources and cost. “The only additional cost what the contractors incurred is adding the extra bitumen which gets oxidised, mixing cost and the relaying cost,” shared Mr Palagiri. “Otherwise, the cost will be laying a new layer of asphalt with aggregate and 5 per cent bitumen. That’s why we showcased recycling technology. We are trying to showcase the training where the machine can directly lay the crash barrier or drains. This way we can do it much faster — 2 km per day.”
Long-term perspective in IndiaIn the new plant, Wirtgen Group has invested about Rs. 80 crore, while its total investment is about Rs. 180 crore. In order to create better manufacturing and introduce new products, Wirtgen has been focusing more on supporting its customers. Mr Wirtgen seemed very happy with the government policies as well as PM Modi’s “Make In India” initiative. “We are very positive about the campaign,” he said. “India will grow in the next few years tremendously, and we want to be a small part of it.”
The maker believes that it would be surely able to bring “achche din” for India.
——————————–Our job is to continuously grow in India. We consider India as an important market for us, and it is a fascinating country full of opportunities.
Stefan Wirtgen, President, Wirtgen Group———————————-
We have inaugurated a new plant where we will be producing the Kleemann screens, initially for the Indian market.
Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India