TEREX has announced it is ready to take on Komatsu in a bid to be the world's second biggest manufacturer.
The plant giant is currently £2.4 billion behind Komatsu on turnover, but believes it has now got the strategy in place to close the gap.
Speaking as the firm launched a range of new products, including redesigns of its flagship truck line and a new range of graders, vice president Colin Robertson said: 'We need to start acting like a credible number three. Being number two would mean 50 per cent growth.
'It will mean we need to streamline the number of companies that we have but there is potential to building our share in areas such as trucks and excavators. It is a realistic goal.' The firm is planning for organic growth by maximising the number of products it has and encouraging dealers to take on the full product range. It will weed out poor performers.
In Britain, the firm's in-house heavy distribution arm, Terex UK, will expand to offer the full line of construction plant including mini excavators and trucks.
The firm wants to optimise its factory space, having just pumped £11.4 million into its German tracked excavator plant.
Ter ex Construction vice president Fergus Baillie said: 'Forty-eight factories are a lot for the size we are. Where necessary, we will reorganise.' With truck tyres still in short supply, Mr Baillie said Terex was currently using cross-plies from Belarus as well as trialling Chinese tyres. He said: 'There is still a strong tyre issue and it won't be resolved in 2006.' The flagship of Terex's new products is its articulated dump truck line, which features independent suspension in 25tonne and 28-tonne models, along with a beefed-up TA40 38-tonner (right).
Engineering director Paul Douglas said: 'The suspension may cost double the price of its predecessor but it can achieve 15-20 per cent better productivity. You can go at full speed without being jolted about all over the place. It also reduces whole-body vibration.' Meanwhile the TA40 has been given a hybrid Allison transmission for highway truck-style handling, together with a more powerful 336 kW Detroit Diesel engine to achieve a 60 kph top speed.
Other features include three-position engine braking, which avoids the use of service brakes, a pressurised cab and f lat screen rear-view CCTV. A 45tonne version could be produced if market testing proves successful.