JCB has produced its 100,000th mini excavator since its first – an 801 model weighing in a 1.4 tonnes – rolled off the production line in 1989, with just over 450 machines made that year.
By 1992, there were four models in the range and annual production rates had risen to 1,000 units.
The 100,000th compact excavator – a 10-tonne 100C-1 – is one of 22 models in the company’s current line, which ranges from 1 to 10 tonnes. All are manufactured at the JCB compact products factory in Cheadle, Staffordshire, UK.
JCB said that the global mini excavator sector was one of the most competitive areas of the global construction equipment market and was worth an estimated £4 billion (€5.4 billion) annually.
It added that more than 20 major manufacturers were challenging in this market, with almost 200,000 mini excavators sold around the world every year.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said, “From being a challenger in the market 25 years ago, JCB is now firmly established as an industry leader, setting trends for design innovation and manufacturing excellence.
“To have produced 100,000 compact excavators really is something for the whole JCB team to celebrate, and with more additions to the range due this year we can look forward to more growth in this important sector of the market.”
JCB said it had reacted to the growing opportunity presented by the mini excavator sector in recent years with a £15 million (€20.4 million) investment in manufacturing technology and new product development. This has seen the launch in the last two years of new models including the 65R-1, 67C-1, 85Z-1, 86C-1, 90Z-1 and 100C-1 models which compete in the 6, 8, 9 and 10 tonne weight categories.
JCB’s mini excavators were first manufactured at the company’s plant at Rugeley, Staffordshire, before production switched to Cheadle in 1999, which JCB said was to cater for the rapid expansion of the range.