Kobelco’s Rapid Growth Spurs Major U.S. Investment

In response to rapidly growing popularity of its line of crawler excavators here in the U.S., Kobelco Construction Machinery is fast-tracking plans to build a manufacturing facility and permanent North American headquarters in Katy, Texas. The company now expects their new facility to be up-and-running by this coming fall. Kobelco reports the new plant will make crawler excavators and also some parts, to serve North America and markets in Latin America as well.

Following its spinoff of the excavator line as an independent brand early last year, Kobelco Machinery added more than 50 American dealers just in the first six months. They credit that expanded dealership base with their exceptional sales increase in 2013, the first time in several years the company has seen noteworthy growth here.

Lots of excavators for lots of jobs.

Kobelco makes 17 small and mid-size crawler excavators for use in site preparation, road building, construction, landscape, aggregate and recycling as well as the equipment rental market. Inside sources expect continued sales growth to be especially high in the real estate development and shale gas production markets, with overall sales reaching 2000 units by 2015. That would give Kobelco a market share of about 10%.

Last year, Kobelco opened a temporary headquarters and parts warehouse in the U.S., based on the original plan to create a permanent presence within five years. But unexpectedly strong sales caused Kobelco to shift into high gear. The company reportedly will spend somewhere between $9.6 million and $19.2 million on its new headquarters facility.

The new complex will be more than 101,000 square feet, serving as Kobelco’s headquarters offices, training center, manufacturing plant and parts distribution hub for the U.S., Canada and South America.

See for yourself, at ConExpo.

To celebrate their high-test comeback in the U.S. crawler excavator market, Kobelco Construction Machinery is planning a major presence at the upcoming ConExpo/ConAGG event, scheduled for March 4-8 in Las Vegas. It’s been ten years since the company appeared as an exhibitor, and this time show attendees will have a chance to see some of the company’s newest excavators and their new demolition line, up close and personal.

Kobelco sees their investment here in the U.S. as a reflection of their long-term commitment to customers in the Western Hemisphere. They expect a local presence to facilitate continued rapid growth and support the company’s desire to become a market leader when it comes to crawler excavators. Industry watchers anticipate U.S.-based production will lead to more competitive pricing and enable Kobelco to produce more customer-tailored machines.