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Low-cost Chinese excavators go live

PLANT AT SED

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.