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n 1986 Bobcat Europe introduced the concept of the compact excavator into the market through a dealer and press event in Zaventem, Belgium, followed by the second ever European Bobcat roadshow. e objective was to leverage the success of Bobcat skid-steer loaders and take the rst steps towards becoming the world's leading compact equipment manufacturer.

e initial Bobcat compact excavators – the 100 series – became known for their robust-ness and power. e series consisted of the X119, X120, X123 and X125 models. Due to its operating weight of 1500 kg, which is perfect for transport by trailer, its digging depth of two meters and outstanding digging forces, the X120 became the most popular compact

excavator in Europe. e X125 was the rst in the market with pilot joystick controls; all the other models were designed with mechanical levers. e success of the 100 series was instant and boosted the company’s growth signi cantly.

is was just the beginning. A new standard had been set that would in uence the devel-opment of all future compact excavators.

Later, looking back over the company’s evolution, Gui Keuppens stated that two developments had been key to Bobcat’s suc-cess – the extension of the product o ering beyond skid-steer loaders and the establish-ment of a manufacturing presence in Europe to build speci c products for local markets.

A compact excavator with big ideas

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The introduction of the first Bobcat compact excavators in Europe.

The Bobcat compact excavator is presented at a Dealer Sales Meeting in Da Balaia, Portugal.

The Berlin Wall crumbles and East and West Germany are reunited.

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