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Case looks to the long term

Written by Sandy Guthrie - 19 Apr 2017

Case's DL450 compact dozer loader

Case's DL450 compact dozer loader

It has been a busy time for Case since its role was redefined a couple of years ago, and with a Hyundai tie up in 2016, as well as a new livery and machine launches this year, the momentum continues.

Some of the company’s recent steps – the new livery, for example – could be seen as quite brave. As the company celebrates its 175th anniversary, Carl Gustaf Göransson, brand president for CNH Industrial’s Construction Equipment businesses, and president of the construction equipment products segment, explained the logic.

Of the new livery, he said, “The message we want to bring to our customers is that we are long term, we are consistent. We’ve been around for a long time and this is paving our way for the future.

“We are here and really making a landmark with our new livery.”

In 2014, after many years of Case and its sister-company New Holland having had an apparently overlapping portfolio of products, their roles were redefined, with Case concentrating on the construction industry, while New Holland’s focus is on the agriculture sector.

This was, according to Göransson, “a long-term decision and a strong statement”. While the change started in 2014, it was a low-key move initially, with an announcement at the Intermat show in 2015.

Global agreement

Then, last year, CNH Industrial joined forces in a ten-year global mini excavator supply and marketing agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

Under this alliance, CNH Industrial markets a range of mini excavator models supplied by HHI. The advantage for HHI was said to be that, as a result of the agreement, it expected to double sales of compact excavators over the next ten years.

As well as global manufacturing licensing and OEM components supply, the companies said the scope of the agreements also included spare parts.

Moreover, the two companies agreed jointly to develop new models and upgrade existing ones.

CNH said at the time that the deal complemented its investment strategy for mini excavator product expansion. It said it would have the opportunity to produce mini excavator models of up to 5 tonnes at its plants, and source OEM models above that weight.

The agreement has a ten-year term with a three-year renewal option, and applies globally, excluding the South Korean market.

Now, over six months into the agreement, Göransson said that the two companies were “matched well together”, and that there was a combining of knowledge, while sourcing was leveraged.

The Case C Series mini excavators revealed in January were the first products resulting from the brand’s alliance with HHI. The 5.2 and 5.5 tonne models are produced at one of the partner’s facilities, while the Case Excavator Hub in San Mauro assembles the four new models below 4.5 tonnes for markets worldwide.

The mini excavator launch was followed by the unveiling of the G-series wheeled loaders.

Göransson said the G series had improvements “all over the place”, with a new cab, better fuel efficiency and reduced noise levels.

“We believe we have a product that can be respected in the marketplace,” he said.

The company has been manufacturing wheeled loaders since 1958, and there are seven models in the G-series.

Project Minotaur

And there is more to come from Case with Project Minotaur, although the timing of a launch is still vague. All Göransson was willing to do was to point to the “foreseeable future”.

Project Minotaur, a concept which was seen for the first time at this year’s ConExpo show in Las Vegas, US, is said to be a first of its kind.

Göransson said, “We are working on new concepts. We want to extend our product portfolio and are building on the ranges we have.

“One very interesting area is compact tracked loaders. We have basically come up with a new concept which is called Project Minotaur, the DL450, which is basically a compact tracked dozer loader.”

He said customers had been able to have a look at it at ConExpo, and clinics were held, with the company’s engineers “talking to customers, talking to users, talking to rental companies to see if it is something they could use”.

He said, “We rather took that position instead of talking about something that is 20 years ahead. We want to be very practical, saying what we have in our range, how we can actually apply that to what we have today.

“And we have got very interesting feedback, so we’re very happy.”

The idea is said to be a machine that matches the best operating characteristics of a compact track loader with a crawler dozer. It is said to provide the power and performance of a small dozer in a platform that also serves as a loader, and to run all the attachments that a contractor currently owned for skid steers and compact track loaders.

Göransson said he could not commit to a timeframe for the launch yet.

“Based on the impressions and the feedback, which is very positive, we will evaluate that now, and the next step is to have further discussions with our customers, and then we will say that in the foreseeable future, we will probably see this one on the market.”

He added that with the 175-year landmark, “we want to show our heritage and want to show our strength”.

He said, “We are hands on people, and we are what we call experts for the real world.”

A video interview with Göransson is available from the KHL Videozone.

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