Deere & Co. last week announced plans to form a joint venture with Ashok Leyland Limited, the flagship of the Hinduja Group in India, to initially manufacture and market backhoes and four-wheel-drive loaders that will be sold in India and exported to other markets. The joint venture plans to provide a full line of construction equipment in future years.
Deere said it has signed a definitive agreement to form the joint venture with Ashok Leyland, the second-largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India and the flagship of the Hinduja Group. Initial production is planned for early 2010.
"This action enhances Deere's growth of the construction equipment business outside of North America," said Samuel Allen, president, Worldwide Construction and Forestry Division. "India is an important market and Ashok Leyland is a knowledgeable partner with strengths in brand recognition, distribution, quality manufacturing, and loyal employees and dealers."
R. Seshasayee, managing director, Ashok Leyland, said, "We see huge synergies between this business and our existing one of commercial vehicles, in terms of aggregates, parts and distribution network. John Deere is a technology leader with an impressive portfolio of proven and popular products."
Ashok Leyland has a broad dealer network throughout India and exports to more than 20 countries. In 2007, India was the largest backhoe market in the world. The joint venture will build a manufacturing facility in India and is currently evaluating site locations.
This is Deere's second announcement this year of global expansion in construction equipment. In February, Deere announced a joint venture to build construction equipment in China — the world's largest and fastest market overall for construction equipment.
Financial terms of the planned joint venture between Deere and Ashok Leyland were not announced.
Headquartered in Moline, Ill., John Deere is a leading provider of advanced products and services for agriculture and forestry and a major provider of advanced products and services for construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping and irrigation.