Kobelco sees first mover advantage in India

By Helen Wright09 February 2011

Kobelco president and CEO Isao Aida (centre right, holding sign) celebrates handing over the keys to

Kobelco president and CEO Isao Aida (centre right, holding sign) celebrates handing over the keys to a newly-purchased CKE2500 crawler to an Indian buyer at the bC India event in February, 2011.

Japanese crane manufacturer Kobelco is optimistic that it has secured a first mover advantage in the Indian market by setting up the country's inaugural major foreign mobile crane manufacturing plant.

Speaking to iC, Kobelco president and CEO Isao Aida said the company has its sights set firmly on growth in India.

"China and India are the major growth markets, but there is such fierce competition in China that it is very difficult to make headway in that market. India represents the second biggest market for Kobelco, and we wanted to establish ourselves early," Mr Aida said.

Kobelco set up its Indian subsidiary, Kobelco Cranes India, in August last year. The US$ 13 million manufacturing plant represents the company's first overseas production facility and will be ready to begin production in October 2011.

The company has already sold over 150 units in India to date, 85 of which were CKE2500 cranes.

"We saw the bottom of the Indian market in 2010, and demand has steadily increased since then. We expect growth in 2011 and beyond," Mr Aida added.

And Kobleco also sees growth potential for other construction equipment. Indeed, the company is also setting up a new hydraulic excavator plant next to its Indian crane plant, located 75 km north of Chennai (Madras) in south east India.

Kobelco's parent, Kobe Steel Group, said last year that it aims to increase overseas business from 33% to around 50% in the medium to long-term.

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