Sales of backhoe loaders in India are expected to increase from the 21,192 units sold in 2015 to 28,000 machines by 2020, a +32% increase, according to specialist consultant Off-Highway Research.
India is by far the largest backhoe loader market in the world, with this type of machine accounting for almost 50% of all construction equipment sales in unit terms. Off-Highway Research estimates there is an active population of 195,000 backhoe loaders in India. But despite the growth forecast in the sector, sales of backhoe loaders are not expected to exceed the high water mark of the 33,595 machines sold in 2011.
Investment in infrastructure by the Indian government is seen as the underlying factor which is expected to drive backhoe loader sales. There are also initiatives underway to reform procedures and policies around infrastructure investment which should stimulate the sector further, as should new funding initiatives.
These factors are expected to underpin growth across the Indian construction equipment sector in years to come, but there are other reasons for the backhoe loader market in particular to enjoy continued buoyancy.
“A large number of machines are purchased by first time buyers or users and small operators, so the ease of owning the machine due to customer friendly finance schemes always plays a significant role. Backhoe loader market is quite large compared to other equipment, therefore resale of used machine is simpler and chances of getting good price are also higher. The rental market, which is a major demand driver for backhoe loaders, will also flourish with the increase in construction activities.
Unlike most other types of construction equipment, demand for backhoe loader is supported by the fact that it is a multi-purpose machine and is permitted to travel on roads. The shortage of manual labour due to government sponsored rural employment programmes is another significant factor which will contribute to the growth of backhoe loaders in the long term,” the report said.
All the backhoe loaders sold in India are manufactured in the country, and JCB is the clear market leader with a share of almost 75%, according to Off-Highway Research. In addition to domestic sales, Indian-based backhoe loader manufacturers exported some 2,171 units last year, again led by JCB.