Folks are feeling trepidatious about 2020. I get it. After you’ve been through a few economic cycles — especially the highs and lows of construction — caution is a wise approach. The January print issue has a 2020 construction outlook, and it does predict that the industry overall will grow slightly, but one of our main markets, housing, is weighing it down. Luckily, demand for equipment that we cover (skid steers to scissor lifts) is still growing, undoubtedly propelled by the ability to find work in multiple markets.
In fact, I’ve been noticing an impressive amount of expansion news coming from manufacturers over the last six-plus months. Doosan Bobcat in particular is heavily investing in the United States. Doosan Bobcat announced plans for a $26 million expansion of its Litchfield, Minn., manufacturing facility — aimed at meeting increased demand for Bobcat’s growing line of compact equipment and attachments. This past November, the Litchfield announcement coincided with the official opening of Doosan Bobcat’s nearly $2 million investment in a new Global Collaboration Center in downtown Minneapolis. That’s on top of relatively recent announcements to increase its manufacturing footprint with a $17 million investment in Gwinner, N.D., and an $11 million investment in Statesville, N.C.
Here are some other cool expansion headlines you might have missed:
- Last summer, Kubota North America Corp. announced an $85 million project that will establish a new engineering and design center in Georgia.
- John Deere completed the construction of a new 7,500-sq-ft facility in its Construction and Forestry Training Campus in Coal Valley, Ill., last summer.
- Kioti Tractor finished the $13 million expansion to its North American headquarters in Wendell, N.C., late last year. That’s on top of a new Canadian distribution center.
- In October, compressor expert Sullair broke ground on a $30 million expansion to its North America operations and headquarters campus in Michigan City, Ind.
- The remote-controlled demolition machine maker Brokk recently upgraded the parts warehouse at its North American headquarters in Monroe, Wash. That’s after Brokk opened the doors to a new service and training center in St. Joseph, Missouri, and relocated its Stanhope, N.J., distribution and service facility.
- In November, the breaker makers at Montabert introduced a state-of-the art distribution and customer care center to dealers in Nashville.
- Last October, attachment brand Epiroc opened a new, modern Regional Service Center to support customers in the Northeast region of the United States.
The market will go up and down and business will flow from one sector to another, but some of the largest makers of equipment and attachments in the world are gearing up for big business in America in 2020 and beyond. That confidence is a promising indicator for Compact Equipment readers.
Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.