JCB - the world's largest privately-owned construction equipment maker - is poised for greater global expansion in its 60th anniversary year with the building of its first ever Chinese factory.
The company has acquired land in Pudong, south of Shanghai, which will become JCB's Chinese manufacturing headquarters. Outline planning permission for the factory has been granted and a decision on which products will be manufactured there will be announced in due course.
JCB is also expanding in India, where manufacturing started at its Delhi plant in 1979. The company has constructed a second factory in Pune, which is 1,000 miles from JCB India's Delhi factory and positioned strategically close to the port of Mumbai. The £16 million factory will produce fabricated and machined components.
The expansion - which is in addition to plans announced last year for a new JCB Heavy Products factory in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire - means JCB will have 15 plants worldwide, 10 of which are in the UK.
The growth comes as JCB announced that in 2004 the company enjoyed its most successful sales year in its history. Last year worldwide sales reached 37,260 machines - a increase of 23% compared to 2003. JCB's worldwide market share also rose from 8.2% to 8.6% and the company retained world market leadership with its backhoe loader range.
JCB's sales turnover rose to record levels to over £1 billion while the company also retained its position as the world's fifth largest manufacturer of construction equipment.
JCB also continued its commitment to innovation and commenced manufacture of a new 4.4 litre diesel engine designed specifically for off-highway applications. Produced at the new dedicated JCB Power Systems factory at Church Broughton, Derbyshire, the engine is now undergoing a phased introduction into JCB products. The development of the engine - a project costing £80 million - completes JCB's ability to offer a full driveline and also provides the opportunity to grow JCB's business still further with sales to other equipment manufacturers.
News of the expansion was unveiled by JCB Managing Director and CEO John Patterson at a press conference at the Conexpo construction equipment trade show in Las Vegas.
At the press conference, JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford announced that his son Jo Bamford had joined the company as a Director of the Groundcare Division, which offers a range of products for the specialist Groundcare user.
At Conexpo JCB also took the wraps off a total of 18 new products, including a new range of mini excavators, two new wheeled loading shovels, an improved backhoe loader range and a new 14 tonne zero tail swing tracked excavator.
John Patterson said: “Our business continues to go from strength to strength and the expansion plans we have announced for China and India will ensure JCB is well-positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities as these markets expand.
“JCB's business is growing strongly and last year's worldwide sales were the best on record. With the new products we are unveiling at Conexpo, we now have a range which can help us achieve even stronger sales growth across the world.”
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