Looking for the next opportunity
By Helen Wright27 June 2013
Terex’s 28,000 m2 truck manufacturing facility in Motherwell, Scotland, UK, recently benefitted from a US$ 5 million investment in manufacturing equipment - funding new machining tools for the factory’s rigid (RDT) and articulated dump truck (ADT) manufacturing lines.
Production on-site is poised to increase in-line with new opportunities. While the factory can produce up to six ADTs and two RDTs per day running at maximum capacity, its current production target is 400 ADTs and RTDs combined for 2013.
But while demand in the mature markets of North America and Europe has softened in recent years, sales of both ADTs and RDTs in emerging markets are increasing, and Terex is eyeing new opportunities closely.
Speaking during the company's Truck Days customer event, John Mlonek, commercial sales manager at Terex Construction, said, “We have seen a dramatic change in recent years – the whole emphasis has shifted towards emerging markets.”
Mr Mlonek said the company was considering opportunities in the world’s growth markets, and wouldn’t rule out further joint ventures.
Terex has experience in this field – last year, it established a joint venture with Russian Machines to manufacture construction and road building equipment in Russia, and also set up a joint venture partnership in China with Sinomach to produce truck cranes.
“With the mineral wealth of Africa, Russia and Asia, we have to think of our options,” Mr Mlonek said. “It may be in the future that we will look at joint ventures in Africa and elsewhere – we are considering our options.”
The largest ADT model that Terex manufactures is the 40 tonne class TA400 – part of its Generation 9 range that also includes the 30-tonne class TA300 and 25-tonne class TA250. Terex also manufactures five RDT models on-site, with payloads ranging from 32 tonnes to 91 tonnes.
“In terms of ADTs, the 30 tonne models are most requested in Europe, but we are seeing demand for larger models increase in Indonesia, South Africa and Russia. We offer Tier 4-compliant machines for the EU and North America, and Tier 2 machines for sales in the rest of the world,” Mr Mlonek said.
Scott Pollock, product manager for trucks at Terex Construction, said Terex planned to expand its joint venture with Russian Machines in the future to include its TA400 ADT and TR60 RDT models.
“Russia is a very positive market, as is the whole of Eastern Europe,” Mr Pollock said.
“Demand here is for the RDTs and the larger ADTs, a trend that we are seeing elsewhere in the world as well. We need to consider expansion into low specification markets in Africa and the far East, but instead of focussing on developing larger ADTs, for instance, we are interested in increasing the capabilities of our current machines, stretching the competitiveness of our larger ADTs - increasing the tonnage and reducing the cost of ownership.”
And Terex is also concentrating on developing new technology for its RTD and ADT ranges, with the next phase focussing on fleet management and GPS control technology for its trucks.
“The next development for both the RDT and ADT will centre on GPS technology,” Mr Mlonek said. “We are looking at developing GPS control systems for mining fleets – this is a priority for the company. Any new GPS or telematics technology will be developed as a joint venture with a technology partner.”
The Motherwell factory certainly is a hub of activity for the manufacturer, and thanks to its on-site testing centre, any new prototype machines or technology upgrades will be tested for performance here as well.
With the company keen to explore the potential for fresh joint ventures in new markets, it will be interesting to see the level of technology it adopts when deals are finalised and production begins.