Where did the year go?
Have you ever looked up from a task and asked, “Where did the time go?” Well, that happened to me this year. As 2023 got underway, we were scaling up operations at our new production facility in Moore, SC and beginning to get the hang of making TL12 compact track loaders. Fast forward to December 2023 and every Takeuchi compact track loader in the US is completing assembly there and being shipped to dealers and customers. Getting the South Carolina facility up to maximum production was a huge, company-wide undertaking as we pushed people, training and resources to their limits. Successfully ramping up that facility has helped us increase production capacity and move much-needed inventory into the field.
At the same time, our counterparts in Japan were hard at work building, outfitting and opening our new Aoki Compact Excavator Plant. I was honored to attend the dedication of this facility last month and watch as new compact excavators rolled off the line. This factory has also expanded our worldwide capacity, allowing Takeuchi to bring more inventory to the US in Q1 of 2024. While in Japan, I also got to celebrate Mr. Takeuchi’s 90th birthday and the 60th anniversary of Takeuchi Manufacturing Japan. So, from a company perspective, it was a great year full of significant milestones, including the investment in not one, but two, new manufacturing facilities.
Takeuchi has not been satisfied with simply increasing our manufacturing capacity. We launched our first electric compact excavator, the TB20e. We also expanded our line of reduced tail swing compact excavators by introducing the new TB335R and TB350R models and added to our attachment line with a complete offering of hydraulic hammers. We also held our first customer “Demo Days” at our training center in Pendergrass, GA, and field tested the highly anticipated new TL11R3 compact track loader which will be introduced in 2024.
While we were hard at work making new product and increasing capacity, we also found time to give back as we were able to donate several diesel engines to Athens (GA) Technical College and engines and a TB235-2 compact excavator to our local Empower College and Career Center. During our Family Fun Days event for Takeuchi employees, we collected, boxed and donated 380 Thanksgiving meals to local food banks in South Carolina and Georgia for those in need, as well as volunteered for local organizations.
To put it bluntly, it was the fastest, busiest and most challenging year of my career at Takeuchi, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We learned a lot in 2023—some good, some bad—but all of it will help us as we move into 2024 with new product introductions and increased focus on product support.
Simply saying “thank you” doesn’t adequately express our appreciation for all who have stood by Takeuchi as a brand and helped push us forward in our growth. Without you, our loyal customers, we would be nothing. While 2023 was another record year on so many fronts, we are going to continue to work hard and earn your trust to make 2024 even better.