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Low-cost Chinese excavators go live


THE FIRST company to sell Chinese excavators directly into the British market has promised it will not repeat the mistakes of previous low-cost manufacturers.

Maurice Husband, boss of importer HPM Europe, said the firm will provide a product to European quality along with proper service backup to customers.

HPM aims to offer a range of mini and midi excavators built by Chinese manufacturer Hunan Sunward into the UK from September onwards. It wants to establish a proper dealer network and was at SED looking for potential dealers.

The firm is aiming for a 5 per cent European market share within three years and currently has a 9,000-machine factory, operating at just 15 per cent capacity.

Mr Husband said: 'Hunan is not like many Chinese manufacturers because it uses Japanese and European components, and it is not offering a huge range of equipment.Our experts have been in China for six months aiming to get a western European style product.'

The first machines to reach the UK will be a 1.7-tonne and 5-tonne mini with Yanmar engines, along with a 7-tonne and 9-tonne midi, powered by Cummins engines. Another mini and a micro excavator will join the range by the end of the year, to be followed by 11-tonne and 14-tonne excavators early next year. By Bauma in 2007, HPM intends to also have a line of skid-steers and telehandlers.

HPM promises competitive prices, which equipment analyst Off-Highway Research reckons could be as much as a 20 per cent discount.