Increasing roads & highway construction, rising investment in healthcare infrastructure, increasing rural infrastructure (PMGSY) and railway infrastructure, in short, a favorable opportunity for construction equipment manufacturers, how are you leveraging on these opportunities?
Last year, the pandemic caused a halt in the construction projects and activities in India leading to a derailment in terms of sales, product demand and accumulation of projects. Although, the road construction sector is slowly witnessing an increase in the projects. In a recent announcement, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has set the target for 2026 and planned to expand around 60,000 km of National Highways (NHs) in the next five years. The Off-Highway Research also predicts that the availability of the Covid vaccine will push the recovery rate further in 2021. Sales of road construction equipment will increase by 25 per cent to 76,375 units in 2021 and a further 16 per cent to 88,700 units in 2022. This quick increase in the projects will lead to more opportunities for industry players creating better demand for the CE equipment. The government initiatives will motivate the industry to work with vigour and at CASE we are ready to make the most of these opportunities.
Technical product upgrades planned or implemented considering India specific projects in roads and highway segment.
CASE has always been a technology first brand. Our products come replete with advanced technology of global standards which helps in increasing the productivity, efficiency, and overall output of the machine. For our products we have our renowned Eagle-Eye-Telematics technology for enhancing the performance and efficiency of the machine. It helps in keeping a track of the machine with the help of a unique feature called ‘Geo-fencing’. This exclusive SMS alert feature helps the user with the controlled safety of the machine and self-detects the imminent need for a repair, to reduce the halt or threat caused by an unfit machine. Additionally, we recently launched a Site-watch technology platform which comes with an all-new dashboard and spotlights critical information without requiring the user to search extensively for the data.
Technologies embracing the new normal - ensuring minimum human intervention and real-time tools to perform. Any new products launched specifically for roads and highway segment
We recently launched our first excavator for Indian market, last year. The 22-ton CHEX excavator is specially designed for the Indian terrain and delivers faster cycle times and higher productivity. Our CHEX excavator develops a gross power of 117 KW (157 hp) and peak torque of 622 Nm at 1800rpm. It comes with 3 power modes and ten auxiliary hydraulic settings. The in-built CASE Intelligent Hydraulic System (CIHS) further improves fuel efficiency and provides smooth control. The advanced hydraulic system offers higher breakout forces, improved swing speeds and greater swing torque, resulting in faster cycle times and 5% increase in productivity. The cabin includes an ergonomically designed seat which provides a better lever position to assure the safety of the operators. It comes with the Eagle-Eye-Telematics system a real-time vehicle tracking and communication system based on GPS technology which keeps a track of machine’s performance, security, and efficiency. Last year, we also launched our SiteWatch platform with an all-new dashboard, more intuitive navigation and new overview sections that highlight critical information without requiring the user to search extensively for the data.
Manufacturing is slowly moving towards sustainability, eco-friendly and energy efficiency products. Can you please share with us the sustainability features of the products?
The CE sector is moving towards sustainability and becoming more eco-conscious. The government is also coming up with norms like BSVI and trying to put more environment friendly vehicles and equipment on the road. At CASE, we have been recognized as a Global Sustainability Leader for several years in a row. Globally, CASE has introduced sustainable and environment friendly technologies. CNH Industrial Project TETRA concept wheel loader is one such equipment. The methane-powered wheel loader concept is made with the vision of sustainable construction and an Autonomous tractor concept which is a completely driverless, remotely controlled equipment which can increase a working day to a full 24 hours thereby increasing productivity. The concept ensures 15 percent less CO2 and 99 percent less particulate matter than its diesel-based counterpart. It is cheap and helps in reducing the carbon footprint of the company. CASE also launched the industry’s first Fully Electric Backhoe this year – the 580EV, which has Zero emissions and helps customers save as much as 90 percent in annual vehicle, fuel and maintenance costs. The advent of such sustainable technologies and equipment will take some time to be fully implemented in India. However, at CASE we are striving to do our bit for the betterment of the environment and hence will be happy to invest in change that protects the environment.
The ongoing Pandemic has dented the purchasing power of the prospective customers. How are you assisting these customers with financial services?
We have a financial arm present in India called CNHi Capital, which provides a comprehensive range of services, including wholesale and retail equipment financing support for customers in the marketplace. It enables us to extend an extra line of credit to existing customers who are looking to expand their product line. At CASE we regularly introduce lucrative schemes for our customers, to facilitate product purchase. We have seasonal schemes and product specific schemes as well. In order to make our machines more accessible to our customers even during the pandemic, we introduced a 48-hour loan approval policy to facilitate easy loan service. We at CASE, care about our customers’ business and always strive to make their life easier with our products and schemes.
Going forward, where do you see the maximum demand for construction equipment coming.
As mentioned above, we see a lot of investment going to the roads and highways sector by the government. There have been multitude of announcements on the highway projects in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam will further give a much-needed boost to the sector. The government’s vision of committing Rs 1.97 trillion to the manufacturing sector over 5 years will also help the industry immensely. Recently, under Bharatmalapariyojana a budget of Rs.1,229.38 crore has been approved for Punjab, Rs1,102.63 crore for Andhra Pradesh and Rs. 374.39 crore for Tamil Nadu and Mizoram have been passed. Rating agencies like ICRA and Ind-Ra have also revised its outlook on the construction equipment sector to 'Stable' from 'Negative' following a strong ramp up in volumes. These initiatives will help in providing more opportunities for the road and highways sector and at CASE we’re looking forward to making the most of all these opportunities.