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Published by VVV Limited Publisher: Roger Lindley Editor Roger Lindley Editorial Assistant: Colleen Lindley

©VVV Ltd. 2011 All Rights Reserved

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Editorial Comment

Manufacturers Positive. Associations Less So

A chal lenge for al l editors is sifting fact from fiction; dec i pher i ng PR sp i n ; e l imi nat i ng unsubs tant i ated superlatives; opposing statistics and “double bluff” - press releases which do not clearly state what is new or include excess informaton that has already been used.

As this issue shows, with major exhibitions coming up - primarily Intermat - manufactures are relatvely upbeat - many claiming record years and good forward orders. Then we have the associatons representng these manufacturers lobbying governments to implement infrastructure and other works to help prevent a desperate situaton getng any worse.

Even with exhibitions, manufacturers have varying definitions of ‘new’ It could be what most people consider the definition to be - for the first time ever. However, the word ‘new’ is ofen the frst word of an abbreviated phrase. ‘NEW {at Intermat} ’ means it may have been shown elsewhere. ‘NEW { in Europe} ’ means it is already available in the USA or other parts of the world. ‘NEW - {shown for the frst tme}’ofen means it has been available for up to three years - or since the last Intermat - to name but a few.

When visiting exhibitions, when enquiries about what is new from the manufacturer, there is always a wise-guy who will say “It’s all new - we don’t exhibit used equipment.” . This can ofen be interpreted as “we have nothing that is actually new” and an indicaton that it is tme to move on to another exhibitor.

CEOs, masters in the art of manipulatng fgures for best efect (which is probably why they make it to the top), will tell Editors how great the company is, how export markets are being developed and about continued investment in manufacturing plant. Litle is ever said, without some promptng, about plant closures, redundancies and saving in producton costs by sharing producton lines or cross branding.

What is cross branding? Just think of air travel and airline partnerships - or code sharing. It is becoming rampant in the construction industry. Is that a Volvo skid steer or a JCB? A Case wheel loader or New Holland? A Caterpillar telehandler or a JLG? It seems that more and more companies are getng into this cross-branding whereby it is extremely easy and with litle extra cost, for a company to introduce a whole new product range through their dealer network. It illustrates a coming together of standards - but as it is with airlines, therein lies the danger.

Of course, each brand emphasizes that there are mores diferences between the two products then 3 microns of paint and they have to meet corporate standards for quality, durability and reliability.

Isn’t this like saying that Delta fight meets the same criteria as Contnental, its code sharing partner. Ofen it is true but experience has so ofen shown that some code sharing partners in the airline industry fall way short of what one normally expects. In spite of being a KLM Platnum card holder I avoid as much as possible their code sharing partners Northwest Airlines (now with Delta) because, for me, the diference is too great

Only tme will tell if there are similarites with constructon machines - at least airlines are transparent in that they do not re-brand products.

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Page 4 Contractors World Vol 3 No 2

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