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