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Interviews

17 April 2012

CNH new CEO Mario Gasparri says firm keen to continue its growth curve

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Mario Gasparri CEO CNH
CNH's new CEO Mario Gasparri
New CNH Construction president Mario Gasparri says the firm is keen to build on its “strong, sustainable growth opportunities in every major region”.

Speaking to the Daily News Gasparri, a Fiat veteran who took on his prestigious new role last month, said, “In 2011, we saw the highest growth in North America, where demand increased by 38%. The European, African, Middle Eastern and CIS markets were not far behind with a 35% increase. In Latin America, the strong demand from projects in the private and public sectors drove up demand by 25%.”

Gasparri said that although CNH industry sales in the Asia Pacific markets were also up by 19% for the year, they were “significantly weaker” during the second half of 2011, largely due to a slowdown in China.

He added, “Our customers are growing and we are investing every day to help them grow, leveraging international resources to provide constant quality and reliability improvements with dealer and customer support that is always one step ahead.”

Loader/backhoes, skid steer loaders, excavators and wheel loaders were top sellers for CNH Construction last year. Gasparri said the company’s machine manufacturing has been tailored, in part, to meet customer model demand.

Recent product introductions from Case Construction Equipment include the Alpha Series skid steer and compact track loader product line, the C Series crawler excavator line, the first model in the new B Series motor grader line, the F Series wheel loaders, large models of the DV Series double drum compactors and the PT240, the brand’s first pneumatic tire compactor.

New Holland Construction has a new C Series crawler excavator. Furthermore, the brand introduced nine new models in the new 200 Series skid steer and compact track loader product line.

Despite its recent market slowdown China, as well as India and Brazil, are seen by Gasparri as three of CNH’s key emerging markets for its model range.

“China is a very important market for us and we strongly believe in its potential. CNH has invested in China for more than 100 years, when the first International Harvester tractor was imported to China. We have since steadily developed our relationship with China and will continue to invest to ensure our customers have access to our best technologies and expertise.

“In December 2011, CNH Global announced plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Harbin, in the Heilongjiang Province, northeast China, with an initial investment of US $90 million. With this investment, CNH will expand our manufacturing base in China that currently includes assembly plants in Harbin and Shanghai.

“In India, CNH Global last year acquired full ownership of L&T – CASE Equipment Private Limited, a venture established in 1999 with Larsen & Toubro Limited to manufacture and sell construction equipment.”

Gasparri, who most recently served as general manager of CNH International, says CNH’s recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais to lay the groundwork for a R$600 million investment in a new construction equipment plant in Montes Claros is an example of its commitment to expanding commercial ties with the South American country. The new plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2014.

Meanwhile, in North America, CNH has actively supported the reauthorisation of the Federal Highway Bill.

“CNH Construction, along with other manufacturers represented by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, believes the US urgently requires long-term infrastructure funding solutions to ensure its ability to compete globally,”said Gasparri.

“America can leave no options unexamined and no alternatives unexplored in finding and implementing solutions to its important infrastructure needs.”

On trends set to emerge in the construction industry over the next ten years, Gasparri added, “We look for continued evolution of machine telematics systems, with particular focus on remote-monitoring and guidance. Also, as costs of fossil fuels continue to rise, we expect the industry will offer an expanding range of equipment powered by hybrid technologies. This will likely include electrical and hydraulic regeneration hybrids.”

Hall: 5A Stand: J144