The new owner of small earthmoving equipment manufacturer Terraquip Construction Products, which makes Terramite machines, has plans to expand the company’s product line, increase U.S. manufacturing and grow North America sales.
New owner Huichen Xu, who owns a Chinese manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, told the Charleston Daily Mail that although he may import Chinese-made construction equipment to sell in the U.S., his primary focus is to revive and grow the Terramite product by growing the company’s Cross Lanes, West Va., manufacturing facilities, build a research and development center, add more models and strengthen research capacity.
Terramite, which once had more than 100 employees in N.C., now has fewer than 50. Xu said he plans to hire more people, adding that Terramite, which has declined in recent years, has unique features and a unique market share. Xu added he hopes to eventually export Terramite products to China and other Asian nations, where such small earthmoving products are popular.
Xu’s Chinese construction equipment company is called Lioning Heavylong, and is headquartered in Anshan in northern China, with about 300 employees.
Terramite was founded in 1965 and its small backhoes were popular in the North American equipment rental industry. The owning Cunningham family sold the company to Coneqtec Universal Corp in 2008. Xu acquired the firm Aug. 31 of this year.
Xu added that West Virginia officials have been enthusiastic about his plans to grow the company and hire more local workers.