19 Dec 2017

From Russia with love

A visit to Russia’s largest tractor manufacturer and one of the country’s largest off-road machinery manufacturers could prove fruitful as volumes look to double next year for Special Profiles.

Concern Tractor Plants has gone through some turbulent times in recent years, but the future is looking brighter as it’s been rescued by Russian government corporation Rostec that also has all the government defence contracts.

Rebranded as TPlants under new ownership, the company has its own brand of bulldozers and industrial machines – Chetra – which is well known and respected in Russia and more recently, in India.

Product Sales Manager David Waine and Managing Director Special Profiles Peter Gate went out to discuss future business with the team there last week.

David said: “It’s thought TPlants will see an increase in sales as a result of being owned by state corporation Rostec, as most of the mines in Russia are also controlled by the government.

“This is good news for us, as we already supply track shoes for its off-road machinery but there’s also potential to supply some other products, such as cutting edge and forklift masts, as well as some bespoke new sections.

“TPlants is looking to produce 200 dozers this year and 400 next year.”

More than 80% of the track shoes TPlants uses are currently supplied by us. At the moment, it’s taking 2kt of our product per year, but this could double to 4kt in 2018.

David added: “Following the visit, we now know more about its future business strategy and the team there knows more about what we can offer.

“The focus is very much on the mining sector and its links under Rostec will no doubt support ambitious growth plans in this area.

“We also learned lead time is very important, so that’s something we need to be mindful of when planning TPlants’ rollings.”