As a consistently top five-ranked original equipment manufacturer, Terex Corporation has absorbed its fair share of trials as a result of the turbulence across global markets, but it has also emerged as a consistently optimistic voice despite the downturn. Moving forward, with the group’s sale of its materials handling division (which has been dragging down the group’s overall profits) for $1.3bn to Konecranes we can only expect the group as a whole to increase in its optimism in the other segments as it refocuses on its profit drivers.
The man heading up Terex in the region as the groups navigates these developments is Sharbel Kordahi. While technically the managing director for Terex’s aerial work platforms (AWPs) and materials handling divisions in the region, Kordahi has taken on the role of something akin to the go-to-guy for team members from across Terex Corporation’s five divisions — which also include cranes, construction and materials processing.
Nevertheless, Kordahi’s is an AWP man, and with good reason, as he notes: “In terms of market share, Terex AWP is the strongest business in the region.” It also achieves the second highest turnover after Terex Cranes, which leads due to the price of the product.
However, in terms of strategy and market positioning, the maintenance of high market share is the achievement to which all brands aspire and which some even sacrifice short-term profit in a desperate bid to secure. This is because market share, more than anything, is seen as the gateway to long-term profitability through aftersales and brand immortality.
With the most recent product launches and developments in 2015/2016 and at Bauma, and with its Genie-branded range of AWPs in particular, Terex has continued to relentlessly pursue both the spoken and unspoken needs and desires of its customers — including those in the Middle East — by delivering ease-of-use, greater capability, productivity and flexibility.
One product creating a stir is the Genie Z-60/37 FE fuel-electric hybrid, articulated Z-boom AWP — a modest machine in terms of working height at 20.39m, but one that promises to deliver a devastating combination of productivity and flexibility in its size class.
Kordahi notes: “With the market increasingly looking at fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly products, definitely the battery-driven and hybrid Z-60/37 FE are very exciting products. There were a lot of nice things said about them during Bauma and now we see customers coming in with orders.”
Gary Cooke, Middle East sales manager for Terex Aerial Work Platforms, confirms: “The first orders have been placed for units coming into the region, so we just expect that to gather momentum as the year goes on.”
And both men testify to what they see as a shift in the region’s attitude towards hybrid machines, which have long been eschewed in favour of familiar diesel. Cooke comments: “I think looking forward, if you look at the UAE, especially where they linked the fuel prices at the very low dollar oil barrel. As the prices increase as people expect, the price of diesel will start to rise — so people will now start to look at the hybrid solution as a value option. We only see that demand getting stronger.”