By Mark S. Kuhar
Kobelco Construction Machinery USA held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new Houston-based North American Headquarters following the relaunch of the brand as an independent product line earlier this year.
The event was attended by nearly all of Kobelco’s recently signed dealers, a host of local and national media and several local officials, as well as Kobelco staff members from all over the world.
“Houston provided the perfect centralized location to relaunch the brand and to support and service customers and dealers throughout the United States and Canada,” said Ron Hargrave, vice president of marketing and sales for Kobelco North America. “The local community has been receptive and rather excited to have Kobelco back in town after having been a part of the CNH organization for 10 years. And there were several prior Kobelco employees still in the area who we’ve recruited back. This has really helped us to hit the ground running. In just a few short months we’ve opened our headquarters, signed 40+ dealers, stocked our parts warehouse, hired a full staff of experienced equipment industry professionals and brought product over from Japan, stocking dealer yards in time for the spring/summer 2013 selling season.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off with speeches from Kobelco management that outlined the company’s aggressive growth goals and thanked local officials for their support, employees for their initial hard work and the media for their coverage of the brands rebirth. Following the official cutting of the ribbon, attendees had the opportunity to walk around and kick the tires of a wide-range of Kobelco excavators on display and to take a tour of the company’s offices and parts facility. Following the tours, all attendees were treated to a Texas-style catered lunch.
“The ribbon-cutting ceremony was extremely important for our dealers and our staff, all of whom have worked extremely hard over the past few months to help relaunch Kobelco excavators,” said George Lumpkins, product marketing manager. The amount of positive energy behind the company’s relaunch has been phenomenal. Dealers and contractors alike have a renewed energy for the brand, understanding that Kobelco are true specialists when it comes to engineering and building industry-leading excavator technology.”
While the ribbon-cutting ceremony served as the brand’s official relaunch in North America, Kobelco executives promised that it would simply commemorate the beginning, with many additional great things to come. The first look at the new Kobelco for many will come next year at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 in Las Vegas, where Kobelco has plans underway for a massive outdoor display to showcase its full product line.