XCMG equipment will feature at ScotPlant for the first time ever this year.

The Chinese-manufactured machines will be presented by Scottish dealer Molson Group, with Molson sales director Alistair Murdoch predicting the models will soon become a regular fixture on construction sites throughout Scotland.

Molson is responsible for the sales and aftercare services of XCMG excavators from one to 50-tonnes in Scotland, as well as the full range of wheel loaders.

The machines will be shown for the first time at a Scottish trade show at ScotPlant 2024 and Alistair expects any customers not currently familiar with the brand to be suitably impressed.

“The first time I saw XCMG products was about 12 months ago in Las Vegas at Conexpo,” he said. “On a global basis, they’re the third largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world behind Caterpillar and Komatsu, with a million machines a year coming out of 11 factories in China.

“When you look at the machines, you can see the build quality that’s in them. The welding, paintwork finish and assembly is class-leading. They’re using Kubota engines in the minis and Cummins engines in the larger excavators and wheeled loaders. They’re also very much a European-spec machine. All products come direct from the factory with many options on other products being fitted as standard spec.”

Alistair credited SANY with helping the Scottish and wider UK market to accept Chinese-built machines, citing the success of that brand in recent years.

With Molson’s ambition to be a single source supplier to customers, he added that there was a gap in the firm’s portfolio in Scotland, especially on the wheel loader front.

With the addition of the XCMG models, Molson can now sell into even more markets than before. Several of the machines have already been out on demo – mainly on housebuilding sites – with Alistair revealing that feedback from operators has been all positive.

“The products are very well positioned to compete in markets we haven’t done so in the past,” he stated. “There’s also a lot of history behind the brand. It’s a well-accepted brand worldwide that’s just making its way into the European and UK markets.

“Once the machines get out and about, I’m sure you’ll find them up and down the country on building, construction, quarry and waste sites.”

On the challenge of introducing customers to a new brand, Alistair believes that service, long-standing relationships, and trust will be key to helping to establish XCMG as a major force in Scotland.

“I’ve been in the industry for a long time and represented a brand for a long time before I moved here,” he added. “People buy from people. Service, relationships – that’s what people buy for nowadays.

“The machines all come with a three or five-year warranty. We’ve a full-service backup covering three depots in Scotland. We have 25 engineers covering Scotland and can offer service packages, and repair and maintenance packages to suit our customers’ requirements.”

While XCMG is a relative newcomer to the UK market, the business already has a presence in Europe including an R&D facility in Germany. Four Molson employees recently visited the German site for service training. A delegation from XCMG in China also visited Scotland, where they explained more about the manufacturing process.

“They have 11 factories in China,” Alistair said. “The factories have the capabilities to produce machines 24/7. They look very futuristic. They’re also well advanced with electric machines.”

In total, Molson plans to showcase six XCMG machines at ScotPlant – a range of excavators and a wheel loader. With brand awareness vital to launching new products, Alistair admits the event has come at the perfect moment.

“It’s landed for us at the right time,” he said. “We’ll get the brand name out there and a full display at ScotPlant. The sales team is looking forward to launching the product and getting feedback from all our present and future customers. I’m sure XCMG products will be the talk of the show!”

As well as XCMG, Molson will be bringing products from the group’s entire portfolio to ScotPlant including the latest innovations from manufacturers such as Kobelco, Hydrema, Thwaites, Sennebogen, Rokbak, Ammann, Terex and Finlay. Stand highlights will include the new hybrid Finlay J-1175 mobile jaw crusher.

An operator challenge featuring a new Kobelco SK130 in partnership with Blackwood Plant Hire will raise money for the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity. Representatives from the charity will be hosting mental health presentations on the Molson stand on both days.