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JCB targets skid steer market share in the US

Manufacturer moves skid steer production to Georgia and launches new machines.

JCB unveiled the first two models in its range of skid steers entirely designed, engineered and manufactured in North America.

The launch follows a £25M investment in skid steer production facilities at the firm’s United States headquarters in Georgia.

According to JCB deputy chairman John Patterson, 43% of all construction equipment sold in the US is skid steers, making it the “natural home” of these machines and the reason the company has switched all its skid steer production to the US.

“It is part of our strategy of securing more market share - especially in compact equipment,” added Patterson.

11 new models

The company plans to launch a total of 11 new skid steer models by the end of this year, following the introduction of the first seven last November. The two models launched at Conexpo - and the first to come out of the new factory since JCB moved all its skid steer production there - are the 225, a wheeled skid steer, and the 225T, a tracked loader. Both are radial lift machines.

JCB group managing director Tim Burnhope described this year as “one of the best on record for new products” as he unveiled the firm’s largest telehandler.

The Loadall S12-56, designed specifically for the US market, has a load capacity of 5,440kg and a reach of 17m.

Visitors to the show also got a sneak preview of the ICX T tracked compact backhoe, which will go on sale later this year. The mini machine, which combines the traditional ability of a skid steer with a backhoe that can dig to a depth of 3m, is aimed at utilities contractors and the growing rental (hire) market.

Patterson said: “Our growth in the US market has predominantly come from rental companies replacing their fleets, and we’re well placed product-wise to service these customers.”

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