Forever orange: Develon builds fresh brand identity for a new era
By Jenny LescohierApril 24, 2023
Develon was introduced as a new brand of construction equipment in January, marking the start of a fresh chapter following the sale of Doosan Infracore to HD Hyundai in August of 2021.
The familiar orange machines that used to be known as Doosan took on a new name - Develon - which is a creative play off the words ‘Develop’ and ‘Onwards’. The new name is meant to convey a focus on innovation through technology and the continuing development of equipment and services.
“We believe the new Develon brand will help us build on the success we’ve had in North America over the past 30 years and throughout the world for more than 80 years,” Todd Roecker, vice president of growth initiatives, said earlier this year when news about the new brand was announced.
We caught up with Roecker at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas last month to talk a bit about what the new brand is all about.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365: Develon is new, but it’s not. How do you explain that to customers?
Roecker: CONEXPO-CON/AGG marked the official release and reveal of the Develon brand. Even though to some Develon is a new brand, the orange construction equipment that people are familiar with is not new to the industry. We like to say we’re rich in history - the product has been in North America for decades. It’s been global in some markets for 80 years.
The brand has gone through some transitions over the course of time - from Daewoo to Doosan to Develon - but it’s the same product, it’s the same manufacturing plant. It’s the same people, and the same dealers.
Develon tells the story of how we want to develop onwards, and that’s really why we chose this name. We’re continuing to develop onwards and we wanted to use CONEXPO-CON/AGG to show that to North America, and to the world as well. We showcased a lot of new products and a lot of new technologies demonstrating how we’re doing that.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365: For those who weren’t in attendance at the show, what did Develon have on site in Las Vegas?
Roecker: We had some electric machines at our stand, we had new product categories, including our new compact track loader for introduction in 2024. We had the two new dozer models, and our new mini excavator lineup for North America.
A highlight in our booth was the demonstration of the latest fully autonomous machines in our Concept-X2 equipment range.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365: What are the main differences between the Doosan and Develon brands?
Roecker: In the past, we were viewed as a short line, we just had large excavators, wheel loaders and ADTs. Now we have the flexibility to be a single-source provider for our dealers, and our customers. We can satisfy their needs with a two-ton excavator all the way up to a 100-ton excavator.
We’re arming our dealers with a full toolbox, if you will, to reach their customers. They don’t have to go somewhere else to get the products that are needed. This allows our dealers to invest in Develon, improving their capabilities, it also allows us to find better dealers to improve our coverage in North America and the experiences our customers have with Develon.
We’ve filled a lot of gaps in our lineup since the last CONEXPO-CON/AGG in 2020. It was then that we showed our first iteration of Concept-X. At that time, there was no demonstration, it was just static equipment. This time we demonstrated a fully autonomous, second-generation Concept-X2. We have a lot more technology around the XiteCloud Smart Construction Solution, which is our own proprietary software that’s the brains behind Concept-X2.
We’re promoting new safety features for making job sites safer, such as our transparent bucket, which is exclusive to Develon, and our AVM (around view monitor) camera system with object detection. When you’re in reverse and the machine detects an object, your screen flashes red, identifying a person or object that’s in the way so the operator can move in a safer manner. CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365: Develon is positioning itself as a one-stop-shop, and you have some competition. What would you like equipment owners and operators to know about Develon? Roecker: The products we have are built for the North American market. Our mini excavators were developed purely for this market, the new compact track loader is being developed and designed for this market. They’re all manufactured and developed by our company. We don’t buy them or source them from other manufacturers. We are also using our own engines in our products.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365: Electric equipment is a hot topic, but some North American equipment owners and operators still need to be convinced. What’s your message when it comes to alternatively powered equipment?
Roecker: There’s a push for different solutions, not necessarily electric. I think it’s a matter of proving to the end user which one is going to be the right solution for them. With electrics, we need to look at how long that machine will work before it needs to be charged. How quickly can it be charged? How easily can you swap out batteries? If you have other machines on the job site, are the batteries interchangeable? There’s some complexity with electrification because you end up getting into a lot of proprietary things and it can get very expensive.
Hydrogen is something we’re looking at as well. I think it’s just a matter of who is going to be able to prove that you can get a full day out of the machine in all different applications, in all different types of environments, weather, altitude. We’re testing a lot of different options to make sure they’re going to satisfy the customers.CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365: Is there anything else you want our audience to understand about the brand change or about what Develon is offering?
Roecker: Again, the question I hear most often is why we changed the brand, and there is a distinct reason. We’re no longer associated or owned by Doosan Infracore in any manner. Technically, they’re now a competitor. We chose to change the brand very quickly because we wanted to show and hold true to our earlier message to our dealers and our customers that we are, indeed, an independent company. The best way to show that was to create our own brand identity with Develon, even though we’re owned by Hyundai, which has its own brand identity. We will continue to compete in good faith with Hyundai through independent distribution channels, with independent products and such.
That’s the main reason we wanted to change the brand quickly: to show and prove that to our dealers and our customers.CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365: There are many brands of equipment out there. What feelings or ideas do you want people to associate with orange machines?
Roecker: We, and our dealers, have spent an enormous amount of time building our brand up, whether it was Daewoo or Doosan, and now Develon. Now we have a unique opportunity to continue to evolve and expand on that.
In the past, we were dealing with the perception of a company, not so much a brand. So when the company was sold, it had to change names. Now Develon is a brand, and we can continue to build on it. It’s not necessarily a company, so to speak.
We’re on a good path to show what our future can be with the new technologies I spoke about, and with this new full product lineup. It should be a much more rapid, much more confident growth plan for us and our dealers, who can now go into a market with enough tools to build a business around, without having to bolt on other products. They can do it with just Develon now.