JCB opens world's largest backhoe plant

by 15 Apr 2009


With this, JCB, which produces over 275 different models sold in over 150 countries, has completed its Rs 300 crore expansion programme which sees the existing plant’s production capacity double to 100 backhoes a day. The 24,000 square metre plant now stands augmented to 33,574 square metres and includes an assembly line, paint shop, fabrication, transmission, logistics, utility, pre-delivery inspection and hot test area. Enough to beef up JCB’s status as the fastest growing company in the Indian earthmoving and construction equipment industry.

The new plant was inaugurated on April 3 by JCB worldwide chairman Sir Anthony Bamford. “When this factory first opened here in 1979, it was a small, low volume manufacturing facility. Today it is the largest backhoe loader factory in the world, an achievement which fills me with immense pride,” he said. Several dignitaries including the British High Commissioner to India, Sir Richard Stagg, and CII chief mentor Tarun Das, were present at the event. Sir Anthony also noted that JCB’s India operations are expected to grow significantly with the commissioning of the new plant. The company’s plant in Pune for heavy products will also contribute to the overall growth, he added. JCB India started manufacturing heavy excavators in India in 2007. The new JCB heavy products factory in Pune produces the JS80, JS140, JS200 and JS210 tracked excavators alongside wheeled loaders and compaction equipment.

“Our factories in India are among the best in the world and the products they make are second to none. I look forward to seeing the backhoe and the heavy excavator shaping the landscape of India for the next 30 years and beyond,” he said in his address.

JCB chief executive officer Matthew Taylor recalled that JCB’s India plant, which was commissioned in 1979, was the first JCB factory to be built outside Britain. “When the first machine was made here, it was in fact the first backhoe loader ever to be made on Indian soil. The JCB backhoe remains the first in its field – the number one backhoe loader in India, from India’s number one manufacturer of construction equipment — the number one in the world, with every one in three sold anywhere in the world today coming from a JCB factory,” he said. He added that the backhoe loader will continue to be the company’s flagship product in India. He, however, expects heavy excavators to increasingly define the company’s future in India. JCB has invested $75 million (Rs 375 crore) in its Pune plants in order to take advantage of the growing demand for excavators, wheel loaders and compactors.

JCB’s India gameplan

JCB has three plants in India – one in Ballabgarh and two in Pune. According to Vipin Sondhi, managing director and CEO, JCB India, the Ballabgarh plant would be a manufacturing hub for backhoe loaders. Exports are a growth area and last year JCB exported products and components worth Rs 300 crore. Export growth is targeted in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Russia and the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

JCB India has grown from nine dealers and 12 outlets in 1987 to 48 dealers and over 320 outlets in 2009 throughout the country along with a world-class customer service network support.

JCB India has got a wide product range that includes backhoe loaders, wheel loaders, tracked excavators, telehandlers, vibratory compactors and skid steers. JCB also has a factory in Pune for the manufacture of fabrications. Sondhi added: “JCB holds a leading position in India and one in every two items of construction equipment manufactured here is a JCB. We have sold over 80,000 machines here since 1979, which is an outstanding achievement. JCB India is now positioned as a world-class manufacturing hub, not only for India, but other regions across Asia. We are sure that the recent investment in new capacity in Ballabgarh and Pune will enable JCB India to rise to the ever-present challenges of infrastructure development and the new opportunities that economic recovery will bring.