Manitowoc enjoys buoyant Indian market

By Chris Sleight09 February 2011

Manitowoc's Gilles Martin and Raman Joshi at bC India 2011

Manitowoc's Gilles Martin and Raman Joshi at bC India 2011

Manitowoc sees growth in the Indian crane market for the foreseeable future, following a +30% to +40% rebound in demand last year. The company also says it is seeing crane buyers becoming more mature, with a move towards higher capacity new machines, rather than used units.

Raman Joshi, Manitowoc India managing director, said, "Last year was a good rebound for our products: +30% to +40% for tower cranes and about the same for crawlers.

"The commercial market and the high rise market are really driving tower crane sales. India is a small market for tower cranes, so there is a lot of potential. The encouraging thing for us is that we're seeing a lot of new and first-time buyers.

"A lot of infrastructure projects came on stream in the last two years and they helped crawler crane sales. We've seen a shift from 80 tonne to 100 tonne models up to 400 or 600 tonnes. We're also seeing a shift towards new cranes from used machines.

"I think it will be a good market for the next five to seven years at least," Mr Joshi continued.

Gilles Martin, Manitowoc Asia Pacific executive vice president, added, "I think it's getting to a stage where we'll see really explosive growth."

Both said that this growth in the Indian market is accompanied by a more sophisticated buying mentality. "The majority of all terrain cranes sold in India are used. Just a few years ago the cranes being imported were an average of 23 years old - their value was more or less just their scrap value. Now we are seeing customers with vision who are buying new all terrain cranes that are a lot safer and more reliable," said Mr Martin.

Mr Joshi added, "India is and always has been a very price sensitive market. People have the money to spend, but they want value. However, we have customers who have gone for the lowest priced product in the market and then come back to us after a year or two because of the service and durability we offer.

"People understand that if they pay peanuts for a very old crane and it fails or there is an accident, then the cost is huge."

Truck cranes

Like Terex, Manitowoc used the bC India exhibition to launch its Chinese-built truck cranes in India. The model on display at the show is the GT 25-5A, a 25 tonne capacity machine offering a maximum hook height of 49 m with a jib extension. The crane is built by Manitowoc's Dongyue truck crane joint venture in Taian, in China's Shandong province.

"In India the standard solution is pick and carry cranes - not many people use truck cranes. However, with roads getting better there is demand for more mobile machines, but we will have to see how they fit in," said Mr Martin.

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