Sunday, July 25, 2021

Table of Contents for Interviews

Caterpillar India

The Hindustan 2021 wheel loader has been serving Indian customers for five decades and has rightfully earned the reputation of being a very reliable machine in the industry


Caterpillar has been part of India’s growth story for many decades. This year the company enters the 50th year of manufacturing in India. Caterpillar has a long history of equipping its machines with leading-edge technology to increase the safety, productivity and efficiency of its operational sectors. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, AMIT BANSAL, DIRECTOR- SALES, BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS, CATERPILLAR INDIA, speaks about the wheel loader industry, Hindustan 2021 wheel loader, cutting edge technologies and a lot more.



Give us an overview on the Wheel Loader industry, latest technology trends and market dynamics. How do you expect the market to shape up for the wheel loaders through 2021 onwards? What are the trends driving purchase or hire of wheel loaders market in India? To what extent is consumer behaviour influenced by cost?

Generally, the market size varies year to year. As a growth economy, we experience fluctuation frequently as compared to mature markets. The small wheel loader segment comprises approximately 60 to 70 percentof the overall wheel loader industry today, as compared to a decade ago when the same segment occupied approximately 80 to 90 per cent of the total industry. We have observed that as the quantum of work increases in the economy, the market is shifting towards higher capacity machines that helpcustomers move material at a lower cost. This current scenario combined with the Indian government’s increased focus on infrastructure development currently, the growth outlook for the wheel loader industry is positive.

Caterpillar machines are known for outstanding durability, reliability, productivity and lower owning and operating costs. Over the life cycle of the machine, they offer exceptional value to the customers and help customers succeed in their business. In recent times, we are seeing changes in buying behavior in some segments like Quarry and Aggregates. As the construction activities are gaining pace across the country, new quarries and crushers are opening up. Also due to uncertainty around availability of long-term work contracts, customers tend to have a short-term investment horizon of 3-5 years which is spurring the growth of lower priced, relatively lesser durable, utility type machine segment.



What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business and what are your strategies to overcome these sluggish market conditions and expand market share.

While the pandemic has undoubtedly changed our world in many unexpected ways, we’ve continued to put safety first, execute our strategy and serve our customers. As we reported in our first-quarter 2021 earnings, Caterpillar overall sales and revenues are up 12% from the same period last year and in Construction Industries specifically, sales were up 27% from the same period last year.



Detail us on the range of wheel loaders offered by your company, in terms of types, capacities, and applications. Also, are you planning to launch any new variants to your existing product portfolio? Which sectors are major demand drivers for your wheel loaders?

The Hindustan 2021 wheel loader has been serving Indian customers for five decades and has rightfully earned the reputation of being a very reliable machine in the industry. It has been the market leader in the three - tonne payload category and has become a generic name for small wheel loaders. We are continuing to improve our machines to meet customer requirements. As a step in that direction, our 2021wheel loader has been updated recently to meet the BS4 emission norms and has been rebadged as 2021E.

As per our estimates, the construction segment constitutes more than 50 percent market, mining about 25 per cent and the rest accounting for ports, industrial and others. The safety, durability, reliability, productivity, and total cost of ownership (TCO) are the core values by which the2021E is built. Taking all of this into account, these machines deliver exceptional customer value for the money.



Detail us about the cutting-edge technology used in your machines. What are the USP’s of your products Vis-à-vis competition. Factors such as safety, operator comfort, ease of operations are crucial. What are the steps undertaken by you for providing the same?

With customer input at every stage of the design process, our wheel loader range is created to meet customer’s demands. The design of 2021 speaks for itself as well. We have several machines in the field that have been working for over 30 years and crossed more than 60,000 hours. There can’t be a better testimony to the robust design of the machine. Many of its components are intact as the original ones. The 2021 is a highly reliable machine with minimal downtime, allowing customers to get more done.

Our machines are built with foresight. The technology integrated into the machines is determined by an assessment of how and where the machines will be working over the long-term. For instance, in fleet management, our Cat® Product Link™ uses telematics to allow customers to access real-time data on the location, utilization and performance. Its easy-to-use interface VisionLink®, enables customized health reports, utilization reports, mapping and mixed fleet capabilities. Caterpillar takes safety very seriously and all our machines are also designed with safety as the central theme.



Detail us on your aftermarket services as a strategic differentiator.

At Caterpillar, we define services as the value we provide to customers after the equipment purchase – everything from aftermarket parts to maintenance agreements to financing – with a goal of delivering a superior customer experience. We invest time, talent and resources in service offerings because they drive value for our customers. Services can reduce total owning and operating costs for customers.

To help our customers stay focused on their core business and leave the equipment management to us, we offer several solutions like multi-tier ‘Customer Value Agreements’, Extended Protection Plans, Rebuild and repair options etc. through our dealers Gmmco and Gainwell who have pan India presence. We understand the importance of having quality replacement parts where and when our customers need them. We offer digital enabled solutions that are available to our customers 24x7 so that the downtime is minimized.

Our services allow us to provide unique insights and customer-focused solutions throughout the lifecycle of our products. Using our large installed base of connected equipment, outstanding field technology, and decades of product, service and application expertise, we can transform traditional offerings into services that make our customers more successful.





Tell us about the indigenization efforts undertaken by the company to meet the market requirements? What is the company’s approach to implementing the ‘Make in India’ drive?

Caterpillar’s presence in India includes state-of-the art manufacturing facilities, research and development centers, service and support organizations. Our employees produce world-class products for India and export Indian-made-products to other countries with a focus on sustainability and best-in-class productivity.

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