Regionalised production

18 March 2008

Bobcat is the world's largest compact equipment manufacturer, thanks to a strong share in the massive US skid steer loader market. The company also has a strong presence in Europe with its loaders and mini excavators, and has achieved this-somewhat surprisingly-without ever building these machines in Europe.

But all that is changing, with the company officially opening its new skid steer loader and mini excavator factory in Dobris, near the Czech capital of Prague, on 18 September.

“Customers here in Europe Africa and the Middle East (EAME) have diffierent product requirements to those in North America,” said Bobcat's president for the EAME region, Scott Nelson. In addition to this, Mr Nelson said that exporting from the US had an impact on lead times and costs, largely because of the shipping issues

Doosan

As well as opening a new factory, Bobcat is of course undergoing a change of ownership, with its current parent, Ingersoll-Rand selling the company to Korea's Doosan Infracore, predominantly a crawler excavator and wheeled loader manufacturer.

Speaking about the acquisition, which is expected to reach financial close on 1 November, Bobcat president and CEO Richard Pedke was up-beat. “Doosan has a stated aim to be in the world top five in this industry. Before this acquisition they were 19, after it they will be seven. It sounds to me like they're very serious about that aim.”

Although it is still early days for this new pairing, it seems likely that Bobcat will remain the global brand for smaller machines and Doosan will be identified around the world with heavier earthmoving equipment. “I think we're going to stay pretty true to the two brands for the two diffierent sizes of equipment,” added Mr Pedke.

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