Two signature Kobelco crawler excavators are positioned outside Kobelco Construction Machinery’s temporary North American Headquarters in Houston in spring 2013 when the company relaunched its excavator line as an independent brand.
When Kobelco Construction Machinery USA relaunched its line of crawler excavators as an independent brand in 2013, the company never imagined how quickly it would reestablish a footing in North America. The signing of more than 50 dealers in its first six months drove a significant demand for Kobelco excavators, a demand that Kobelco worldwide has diligently worked to support and one that has helped the company regain market share within its first year of independent operation.
Company executives had ambitious growth plans from the start and knew that in order to achieve them they would need to build a strong, dedicated team of industry professionals; and they did just that. According to Ron Hargrave, vice president of operations of Kobelco Construction Machinery USA, who came out of retirement to join the Kobelco team, "We’ve hired over 50 people in the past 11 months, with an extensive number of collective years’ experience in the equipment manufacturing industry, from parts and service personnel, to territory managers, to national accounts staff, we’ve recruited the strongest candidate for each position. Having this knowledgeable team has allowed us to swiftly put our collective experiences together to develop and implement a long-term plan, establish key relationships with dealers and vendors and begin moving towards the goals we’ve set forth for the company."
From April 1 to Dec. 31, 2013, Kobelco not only exceeded the total number of predicted shipments and units it would sell, but also signed more dealers than originally anticipated, more than doubled its parts inventory, increased the brand’s market share, launched an aggressive marketing campaign, and broke ground on a 101,300 sq. ft. corporate headquarters in Katy, Texas.
"We couldn’t be more pleased with the early results of our brand relaunch," said Pete Morita, president and CEO of Kobelco Construction Machinery USA. "In just a short time period we’ve seen some significant progress and can envision the growth that will continue as we rebuild the Kobelco excavator brand. All of the initiatives taken in the past year are just the beginning of what we have planned. We have recently received the go ahead from Kobelco in Japan to begin scouting locations to build a dedicated North American manufacturing facility. Once opened, this facility will supply excavators directly to customers in North and South America. This long-term investment speaks volumes to the commitment being made to ensure the success of Kobelco Construction Machinery USA. We are Driven by Passion to be a market leader of crawler excavators."
Moving forward, Kobelco’s mission remains the same, to reclaim its position as a market leader of crawler excavators. This will be accomplished through the continued hiring of experienced industry professionals, the pioneering of excavator technology, the company’s hands-on, personal approach to customer service and by working closely with customers and dealers to ensure Kobelco continues to manufacture products that fit the changing needs of the marketplace.
For more information, visit www.Kobelco-USA.com.