JCB celebrated the production of its 100,000th mini excavator, also promising more innovative machines to come as the company builds on its position as an industry leader.
JCB’s first mini excavator (an 801 model weighing in a 1.4 tonnes) rolled off the production line in 1989 when just over 450 machines were made. By 1992 there were four models in the range and annual production rates had risen to 1,000 units. Today the company celebrated the production of its 100,000th compact excavator – a 10-tonne 100C-1. It is one of 22 models in today’s range which spans one to 10 tonnes. All are manufactured at the JCB Compact Products factory in Cheadle, Staffordshire.
The global mini excavator sector is one of the most competitive areas of the global construction equipment market and is worth an estimated £4 billion annually. More than 20 major manufacturers challenge for a slice of this valuable business and with almost 200,000 mini excavators sold around the world every year, it is the biggest single part of the annual 700,000-unit construction equipment market.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “JCB has an innovative, powerful and robust range of mini excavators which keep growing in popularity. From being a challenger in the market 25 years ago, JCB is now firmly established as an industry leader, setting trends for design innovation and manufacturing excellence.
“To have produced 100,000 compact excavators really is something for the whole JCB team to celebrate and with more additions to the range due this year we can look forward to more growth in this important sector of the market.”
JCB has been rising to the growing opportunity presented by the mini excavator sector in recent years with a £15 million investment in manufacturing technology and new product development. This has seen the launch in the last two years of brand new models including the 65R-1, 67C-1, 85Z-1, 86C-1, 90Z-1 and 100C-1 models which compete in the six, eight, nine and 10 tonne weight categories respectively.
JCB’s mini excavators were first manufactured at the company’s plant Rugeley, Staffordshire, before production switched to JCB Compact Products in 1999 to cater for rapid expansion of the range. The company has won two Queen’s Awards for International Trade for huge increases in exports in 1994 and 2007. JCB Compact Products employs more than 350 at its site in Leek Road.