Mr. Sandeep Mathur
CASE Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of construction equipment worldwide, including the No. 1 loader/backhoes, excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders, and more. Through CASE dealers, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support, industry-leading warranties and flexible financing. Mr. Sandeep Mathur, India CE Brand Leader, CASE India, in conversation with CE&CR, shares his views on loaders’ demand, trends, production in India, and more.
Civil Engineering and Construction Review: Tell us about the key developments and trends being witnessed in the loader market.
Sandeep Mathur: The market for loaders is linked very closely to activity levels in the construction and infrastructure sector. Currently, the government has announced multitudes of projects for the construction sector to fasten the sector’s speed. According to Off-Highway Research Report on Backhoe loaders, the demand for BHL is expected to recover to 42,000 units during 2021-2023. It will continue to remain the largest selling construction equipment. The recently announced economic stimulus related to the construction sector will help in bolstering the demand further. Additionally, easy clearances of projects and fast project completion will help bring back this sector on track and increase equipment demand. We are hopeful that post this pandemic, we will see more growth in this specific sector of equipment.
CE&CR: The automotive industry is seeing an increasing number of explorations in the ‘nano’ or ‘mini’ segment. So can we expect the same from the loader industry in India?
Sandeep Mathur: Backhoe loaders are used in various industries such as construction, agriculture, mining, and other infrastructure activities. And mini equipment, due to their compact design, enables several construction activities even in narrow places, including landscaping, breaking asphalt, light transportation of building materials, powering building equipment, small demolitions, digging holes, excavation, and paving roads. Population growth and rapid urbanization are further leading to the growth of the compact construction industry. Compact construction equipment has the key advantage of being low-cost, lightweight, and easy to transport and run.
As far as the loader industry is concerned, Off-highway research predicted that there will be a 13 per cent growth in 2021, 12 per cent in 2022 and 11 per cent in 2023 to reach 42,000 units. Additionally, as the number of projects related to highways, roads and reconstruction by the government is increasing, it can be presumed that the loader industry will see a fair share of demand for the mini equipment as well.
CE&CR: What is your vision for loaders for 2020-21? Express your views about the future of the backhoe loader segment.
Sandeep Mathur: Backhoe loader is the most popular construction equipment sold in India. They are efficient machines that are built to take on multiple tasks in different terrains and conditions. Off-Highway Research forecasted backhoe loader demand to decline 32 per cent to 27,000 units in 2020, primarily due to the lockdown caused by Covid-19 but is expected to recover to 42,000 units during 2021-2023. Hence, it will continue to remain the largest selling construction equipment.
Additionally, we see a lot of demand and positive projections coming from the government’s end for the BHL segment. NHAI has identified 1,500 km of road projects to boost coastal connectivity. This will further boost the sector with immense opportunities.
Additionally, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has hinted towards the announcement of more projects in the Rs.111 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline. MoRTH has set a target to build 12,000 km of highways for this current financial year and has ensured that it will reduce arbitration cases’ build-up. As the road and infrastructure sector’s announcements are increasing, we are hopeful these will help in successfully increasing the market demand for the Backhoe loader segment.
CE&CR: Is there any segment in the construction equipment space that you are planning to explore? Please share your views on that.
Sandeep Mathur: At CASE, we are always working towards new ventures and enhancing our machines for the consumers. Following the same philosophy, we recently launched our CX220C excavator in the market for our customers’ use.
|At present, the excavator market is roughly 25,000 units. In India, 20-tonne excavators hold 60 % of the overall size of its market. We introduced our first product in the 22-tonne range, the premium range within the 20-tonne excavator market. The 22-ton excavator is specially designed for the Indian terrain and delivers faster cycle times and higher productivity. The CX220C is available in both Standard & Long Undercarriage. It hosts a range of Fuel Saving features, advanced telematics and robust structures making it a suitable workhorse for tough Indian working conditions. So currently, we’re focusing on our product and the excavator segment in the CE space.|