Komatsu to Make Hybrid Excavators in China

Hybrid excavator uses 25% less fuel than a conventional diesel-powered model

Japan's top maker of construction machinery Komatsu Ltd. said on June 3 it plans to start assembling diesel-electric hybrid excavators in China this year.

Komatsu -- which last year began producing the machines as a test run in Japan -- targets sales of 700 units for the current financial year from April, a company spokesman said.

"Of these, we aim to sell 500 units in China, by producing them in our subsidiary in the country's Shandong province," he said.

On average, a hybrid excavator uses 25% less fuel than a conventional diesel-powered model, said the spokesman.

"Our costumers favour the fuel-efficiency of hybrid construction machinery, and the ratio of fuel costs to personnel costs is high in emerging economies."

The spokesman said: "We need little new investment in the existing plant, as the configuration of hybrid construction machinery is almost the same as for conventional machinery."

China accounts for about 10% of sales for Komatsu, which competes internationally with global Caterpillar Inc.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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