Despite significant national and international restrictions caused by the pandemic, the Keestrack Group can look back on an overall satisfactory business year. Positive feedback from distributors and many new products announced for 2021 indicate a sustainable improvement in business for the coming year.
“Like many other international manufacturers of construction machinery and equipment, Keestrack was significantly struck by the effects of the corona pandemic,” says Frederik Hoogendoorn, Managing Director at the Belgian headquarters and responsible for worldwide sales and https://www.aga-parts.com/ marketing within the Keestrack Group. “The developments at our international production facilities took a very different course. Which not only presented us with major challenges in their local market regions but also in maintaining our internal and external delivery flows as well as our end-customer-oriented incoming and outgoing logistics for machines and spare parts.”
In January, COVID-19 affected the Chinese production site in Chuzhou, which like many of its local suppliers, had to close until mid-February as a consequence of the national shutdown measures. The same then happened for six weeks in the Italian Keestrack plant, and almost simultaneously in the assembly plant of the Indian Keestrack subsidiary Etrack Crushers.
“Our main European plant in the Czech Republic and our headquarters in Belgium remained operative. Despite the corona related restrictions in work organization and transport logistics, we were able to maintain production, spare parts supply and services thanks to the great commitment of our own staff and external partners. Furthermore we greatly benefited from the large investments we have made in recent years in the digital networking of our own processes, also in the global connection of our dealers and service partners as well as in the remote access to existing fleets and individual machines of our end customers,” explains Hoogendoorn.
When asked about the economic result, Hoogendoorn emphasizes: “It is currently still too early to accurately balance the course of business for all regions, the effects of the pandemic on the individual markets and their industries were too different. Although we only lost a few international orders, we do notice certain reluctance to make long-term investments. Planned renewals or expansions have been postponed, which has led us to revise our forecasts downwards.”
Instead of 20 percent sales growth compared to 2019, the Keestrack Group now expects a 7 percent increase in global turnover for 2020.
“Based on the positive feedback from our worldwide distributors, who are consistently fighting the crisis as well, we remain optimistic for 2021. In addition, in the coming year we will be – once more – expanding our range to include important additional machine solutions and completely new product lines,” says Hoogendoorn.
The family-run group expects to increase its worldwide turnover by another 20 percent, which goes hand in hand with the expansion of its own workforce of currently more than 770 employees.