“Kubota, to become GMB”. The words of Kubota’s CEO explained by Tony Tonegawa
About a year ago, when he had already spent the same time at the top of the European motor division, Tony Tonegawa illustrated some of the key steps in Kubota’s strategy to increase turnover. One of the central issues of this strategy, Structured in 2013 looking forward to 2020, is to conquer a slice of the European market.
Internal production and global OEMs
The market strategy to increase the revenues (in particular of the Engine Division) has two main strategies. «The first one – says Tonegawa – is supplying engines to our internal products (tractors, harvesters, green and/or other agricultural equipment and construction machinery). Kubota has decided to enter into the ‘real’ farming market which corresponds to a power range above 200 HP (147kW). Today, we offer 6,1 liters engine for above 150 HP range, and in order to further expand our products offerings, we have just announced the introduction of new 5 liters engine during the ConExpo».
Since 60% of Kubota’s total engine sales come from OEMs (with approximatively 150.000 units sold in 2016, not just in agricultural and construction fields), and considered that the brand is the first engine manufacturer in under 73,5 kW segment, the second goal is to develop Oem business at a global level. «A diversified customer base – states Tonagawa – enables us to stabilize our business under unstable economic circumstances. As for 2017, we see a potential growth in Europe, China and other emerging countries. North America market seems to be fairly slow at this time but this may change».
V5009 and V4309
The new 5-liter engine mentioned earlier is the V5009, the 4-cylinder 1.25-liter per cylinder and 157.3 kW of power that Kubota has announced at ConExpo and officially launched at Intermat 2018. Production, which targets the global market, will begin in 2019. In Paris, however, the engine manufacturer from Osaka has also revealed the latest product of the brand new 09 series, the V4309. As for the older brother, the acronym reveals the displacement, which in this case is 4.26 liters.
It means that the new 4-cylinder goes to fill the gap between the V3800 and V5009. Kubota shares the same engine range with the other manufacturer of Osaka, Yanmar. Moreover, the two companies also share the same range of applications. The V4309 features a power output of 115.7 kilowatts and a rated speed of 2,200 rpm. It has a maximum torque of 649.6 Nm, at speeds ranging from 1,500-1,600 rpm.
Kubota’s Ceo, Mr. Kimata often says that thanks to the over 65% of out-of-Japan revenues and to their ‘global mindset’, they will soon become a Global Major Brand (GMB). This, from Kubota’s perspective, includes the agricultural market. «Entering into the ‘real’ agricultural market is part of this strategy. If you look at the potential business growth for our company, there are many business segments we can enter worldwide. From this point of view, Kubota has many things to do not only in agricultural and/or professional garden markets, but also in other business areas such as Food, Water and Environment».
Tractors in Europe
With the aim of supporting its progressive expansion on the European market, also in the tractor sector, Kubota has announced that it will invest 55 million euros for the creation of a new Research & Development Center. The new headquarters will be in Crépy-en-Valois in France and should be ready by 2020. Specifically, the new Research & Development hub will represent the ‘Center of Engineering Competences’ for the agricultural market, as well as the basis for research activities in the European area.
As part of the globalization process, Kubota intends to promote the development of its products, in line with its desire to adapt to the specific needs of the markets hosting it. Does the European market require ever more technologically advanced tractors? The new Research & Development Center will support the development of machines able to satisfy even the most demanding farmers.
Kubota, already present in around 110 countries around the world, aspires to grow further. In this sense, its latest investments will accelerate its expansion. Since when Kubota Holding Europe B.V. was established in 2017, the company has continuously strengthened its corporate identity in the Old Continent, gaining the trust of more and more customers.