Production to continue as Kobelco finds solution to engine supply problem
By Jenny LescohierApril 28, 2021
Kobelco Construction Machinery USA announces a solution to the engine supply problem that threatened excavator and crane production at its South Carolina plant and 102 workers’ jobs.
The company said it has secured an engine supply agreement for the large hydraulic excavator and crane models recently affected by Hino Motors’ EPA emission certification issue in the North American market. Kobelco expected to lay off of 75% of its workforce at the factory in Moore, SC as a result.
Yanmar and Isuzu, global market-leading engine manufacturers that already supply Kobelco with mini and mid-range sized excavator engines, have now been contracted to supply the additional engines required for the larger conventional and short-radius models that were impacted.
Yanmar will supply engines for the SK170, SK210, SK230SR, SK260, and the SK270SR Kobelco excavator models. Isuzu will supply engines for the SK300, SK350, SK380SR, SK390, and the SK500 excavator models, as well as the Kobelco CK 800, CK 850, CK 1100, CK 1200, CK 1600, CK 2000, and CK 2750 crawler cranes.
Most of these Kobelco units will show increased horsepower with the specified Yanmar or Isuzu replacement engines.
The company announced in February that it would suspend production at the plant due to Hino Motors’ delay in acquiring the 2021 North American EPA emission certifications for the new engines that are utilized for North America production for select Kobelco excavators and imported cranes. All other Kobelco excavator models that are available in North America will continue production with no interruption of supply (1.7 – 16 metric ton units).
Kobelco’s relationship with Hino Motors remains intact on a global basis outside of North America.
“We are happy to announce that agreements are in place and an engine supply solution for Kobelco USA model excavators and cranes has been solidified,” says Jack Fendrick, COO and vice president of Kobelco USA. “Our focus is to not only provide an ample supply of our full line-up of machines with certified engines as soon as possible, but to do so in a manner that maintains the Kobelco quality and performance that has been the cornerstone of success for our dealers and our customers.”
Parts for the Kobelco excavators and cranes that are currently operating with Hino engines in North America will remain readily available from Kobelco dealers. All Kobelco excavators and cranes in North America that were either previously manufactured, or will be manufactured in 2021, meet the EPA emission requirements and are not affected by this change, the company said.