Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Mini-excavator market shakes up

Expanded range from Doosan as European production capacity doubles to 5,000 units on 2008. By Paul Howard

Contractors will see an expanded range of excavators from Doosan as the Korean firm seeks a significant share of the mini-excavator market in the next three years.

The firm has also updated its range of crawler and wheeled excavators.

Demand continues to rise for the Doosan’s products but production capacity remains stretched, the firm claims.

Kim Dudley, national sales manager for Doosan, says: “There’s growth everywhere you look. All major markets are up apart from the US, whereas normally half are up while the other half are struggling.”

The only problem, according to Mr Dudley, is the continuing supply chain pressures that are limiting the ability of manufacturers to respond to this demand. He adds: “It’s difficult to get the component manufacturers to keep up.”

Doosan has already launched two 14 tonne machines, the DX140LC (pictured) and its wheeled cousin, the DX140W.

These are to be followed next year by a standard DX specification 16 tonne machine and Doosan’s first reduced tailswing 14 tonne machine, the DX130z, by mid to late 2008.

No price war

The market for 14 tonne machines accounts for around 40 per cent of the total market, but Mr Dudley claimed Doosan will not compete solely on price with its new models.

He says: “It’s a very price sensitive market and a lot of manufacturers say they don’t make money there, they use it as a sprat to catch a mackerel. But we don’t have the volume capacity to compete on price.”

The company has announced considerable growth plans as its Infracore business - of which Doosan construction equipment is a part - attempts to meet its target of £4.95 billion turnover by 2010.

Production at its European excavator plant in Belgium will double from 2,500 to 5,000 units, while there are new plants in Korea, India and Russia.

Doosan is hoping to take advantage of this increased capacity and regain lost ground in the mini-excavator market.

The DX15 and DX55 will join the already available DX27 and DX35 and will be followed next year by the first three Doosan zero-tailswing units: DX30z, DX60z and DX80z.

Mr Dudley says: “We’ve struggled a bit with minis in the past and had a bit dated technology but quite recently we had a market share of between 2.5 and three per cent.

“We’re aiming for a five per cent market share in the next three years.”

This target will have to be achieved in the face of competition from Bobcat, which Doosan acquired last month.

The Bobcat factor

Mr Dudley says the company will maintain the separate brand identity of Bobcat, in the UK and Europe at least.

He says: “They will be run independently and confidentiality will be maintained between the two businesses.

“Doosan is aware of brand strength and how to leverage it, and the Bobcat brand will remain.”