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JCB CATCHES MARKET BY SURPRISE WITH NEW 200 SERIES BACKHOE LOADERS

 JCB CATCHES MARKET BY SURPRISE WITH NEW 200 SERIES BACKHOE LOADERS
 ATLANTA, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In a dramatic move that runs counter to the current construction equipment slump, JCB Inc. has introduced an entire new line of backhoe loaders that vaults over its competitors with features never before seen in the North American market.
 The North American arm of the British equipment giant raised the curtain today on its new 200 Series backhoe loaders that are intended to revolutionize ditch-digging and other construction jobs. The new line of eight totally redesigned machines includes two models with four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and four equal-size wheels.
 In their first public showing at today's opening of the World of Concrete exhibition at Atlanta's World Congress Center, the new JCB machines captured attention from the construction industry as well as from financially troubled competitors reeling from the recession.
 The company said it anticipates that its introduction is timed to take advantage of an economic recovery.
 JCB entered the U.S. market in 1971 with a product line that now includes backhoe loaders, rough terrain forklifts, wheel loaders, an articulated dump truck for use in difficult terrain and a series of telescopic-boom materials handlers for construction, industrial and agricultural applications.
 Backhoe loaders "will continue to be the flagship JCB product," said company President Dennis R. Slagle, who emphasized that JCB is irrevocably committed to the North American market. "North America represents about half of the world market for backhoe loaders," Slagle said. "In order to succeed worldwide, we must succeed in North America."
 JCB is a privately held company owned by J.C. Bamford, the founder, and his family. Since its founding in 1946, the company has claimed to be profitable and debt-free each year through 1991.
 JCB said it believes the 200 Series with its unique 4-by-4-by-4 features (four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and four equal-size wheels) represents a natural evolution toward perfection of the backhoe loader invented by Joseph Cyril Bamford in 1954. ("JCB" is listed as a noun meaning a digging and loading machine in a popular British dictionary.)
 "We believe that four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering is the direction the market will take," said John Ellis, vice president of marketing for JCB Inc. "Four-wheel drive, for example, was introduced in the European market only in 1980. Now it represents 100 percent of the market."
 Four-wheel steering is a novel concept that provides for three different steering modes: two-wheel steering by the front tires like an automobile; four-wheel steering where the rear tires point the opposite direction of the front tires for a tighter turning radius; and "crab" steering where all four tires point in the same direction to move sideways in cramped surroundings. The use of four equal-size wheels provides greater platform stability for safety and greater traction for performance.
 -0- 2/17/92
 /CONTACT: Dave Kirby of Dave Kirby Inc., 410-539-6888, for JCB Inc./ CO: JCB Inc. ST: Maryland IN: MAC SU: PDT


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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 17, 1992
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