Backhoe loader sales grew almost 40 per cent last year to reach an unprecedented high of some 45,500 units. The previous high in demand was 33,595 machines, seen in 2011. Although demand had been rising from the cyclical low point in 2015, last year’s surge was steeper than many expected. Demand was strong in rural areas and from first-time buyers.
All backhoe loaders sold in India are manufactured domestically. The scale available to OEMs along with low labour costs make the country an attractive export hub. Last year, in addition to machines built to meet domestic demand, backhoe loader manufacturers in India exported some 11 per cent of their production.
Market disruption’s due to this year’s general election has meant the market will fall this year, but Off-Highway Research forecasts that demand will return to similar levels to 2018 over the next 2-3 years. Although there is something of a shift in customer tastes towards excavators, backhoe loaders are expected to remain hugely popular in India for the foreseeable future.
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