China's Hero Time to double production capacity
By Murray Pollok15 June 2010
Chinese compact equipment manufacturer Zhejiang Hero Time Machinery Co Ltd (Hero Time) is planning to significantly boost its production capacity with a RMB 136 million (€16.2 million) investment in a new 35000 m2 production facility next to its main production plant in the town of Zhuji, south of Shanghai.
The new plant, to be build between June and October this year, will add 35000 m2 production space and more than double the covered area available. The facility will be used for steel fabrications for the company's skid steer loader and compact articulated loader ranges and it will also be the main production facility for Hero Time's excavators, providing capacity for as many as 500 units a year.
Hero Time, a private Chinese company in joint venture with Hong Kong's Jiayi Group, is best known for its Racoon branded skid steers and wheeled loaders. The firm started manufacturing skid steers in 2002, adding wheeled loaders in 2004, and initially focused almost entirely on exports, with distributors in Europe, Australia, Asia and South and North America.
Annie Wang, head of Hero Time's international sales department, told IRN that its exports had been hit significantly by the financial crisis, prompting the company to try to build up sales of excavators and compact equipment in its domestic market. The company claims to have produced as many as 1400 units in its peak year of production in 2008, virtually all exported, with skid steers representing around 60% of sales.
The new production facility will help the company produce more excavators for both the home and export market, with plans to expand the range from the existing 7 t and 23 t models to encompass 6 t, 5 t, 3.5 t and 1.5 t conventional design models. Zero tail swing excavators are not yet popular in China. Above the 7 t sizes Hero Time will develop 13 t, 18 t and 20 t models, with a 30 t unit likely in the future.
Read more about Hero Time's plans in the July-August issue of IRN.