2017 is officially in the books. It was fast-paced from the start with The ARA Rental Show and CONEXPO-CON/AGG in the first few months. The momentum from those trade shows never slowed down on our way to record sales again here at Takeuchi. The record sales were just part of a great, jam-packed year. Here is a look back at a 2017 and a look ahead to a terrific 2018.
One Big Year: 2017
Takeuchi achieved record sales in all segments of the business — market share, parts sales, machine sales, as well as dealer and national account customer bases.
Our success in 2017 was built on the framework of years past, such as three years ago when we made the decision to expand our facilities by opening a new warehouse and doubling our office space. This along with other contributing factors certainly aided and pushed us into what was a prosperous year.
Not only did total revenues increase over 10 percent in 2017, but we also increased our full-time staff by 20 percent. While products are obviously a big reason for our growth and sales, our people at Takeuchi continue to be instrumental in our success.
The Blueprint: Our Products
As a product driven company, we remain focused on what has made Takeuchi successful in North America — our machines.
Most recently, we introduced the TL6R compact track loader (CTL), which will be ideal in the landscaping and rental markets where compact size is needed. The TL6R CTL coincided with our launch of the TB235-2 compact excavator, which is a 3.5t machine class that was introduce to complement our lineup.
Currently, Takeuchi is focusing on future models and new technology including hybrid and battery-powered machines. The potential is bright for both of these technologies and our only current hybrid model, the TB216H excavator, far exceeded our expectations when it was introduced at the tail end of 2016. We see further growth continuing this year with the hybrid machine.
We also introduced a battery-powered e240 excavator at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. While this machine remains a prototype, the interest is strong. We believe battery-operated technology will replace diesel engines in 10 to 15 years, while gaining traction in the upcoming years.
What’s in Store: 2018
We expect similar increases this year as we did in 2017. In preparation for this, we have been investing in all areas of our company to meet the growing demand.
Starting January 2nd, we increased our sales regions from seven to 10, reducing the physical size and average number of customers in each region. This allows our regional managers to dedicate more time to each customer, in addition to our dealers, by focusing more on planning sales, identifying opportunities, navigating programs and procedures, and increasing Takeuchi’s presence in all dealer locations.
To strengthen our product area, we appointed Mike Ross to guide new product development and lead our field product sales staff.
We have also made a few changes focused on improving product support. This includes hiring Jeff Stewart as our vice president and general manager, another newly created position. Jeff will oversee parts, service, IT, facilities and non-machine related warehouse operations. In addition, Rick MacLeish joined our team in December as the new National Parts Manager.
Currently, we are looking for additional regional service managers and regional parts managers to join our growing team in an effort to provide further support to our customers and dealers.
It is an exciting time to be in this industry with no shortage of work in sight. The future is bright, and at Takeuchi we will continue to maintain our position as the innovator in compact construction equipment.
From all of us at Takeuchi, we wish you a successful 2018.