...quarter. At $8.2 billion, sales were down about $1 billion below for the same period last year. Says DeWalt, “It does take some time to ramp [up].”

Alan Blake, chief executive officer at Rocester, England-based J.C. Bamford Excavators Ltd., says, “[The firm] has made it through a very difficult recession.” While his outlook remains positive, he cautions the recovery “will not be straightforward.”

“China, India and Brazil, which were less affected by the downturn, are beginning to grow strongly again,” Blake says, though he agrees the recovery is weak in North America and Europe. In Brazil, JCB has doubled its backhoe-loader manufacturing capacity and is investing $5 million to start assembling excavators there, with the first machines now in production.

Backhoe production also is rising in India, following JCB’s construction of a $60-million, 35,000-sq-meter production unit there. Another, bigger investment aims to boost the company’s Indian production of heavy excavators, wheeled loaders and compaction equipment.

India is hungry for heavy equipment, especially to serve its ambitious highway construction program; China’s appetite is even more voracious. “China can move very, very fast, mobilizing vast amounts of construction equipment, the majority of which is manufactured in China,” says Phillips. China is self-sufficient for general equipment, needing to import only specialized or very large items, he adds.

However, Far Eastern inventiveness also can take a sinister turn, according to JCB, which claimed copycat infringements of its backhoe and Loadall machines at the Bauma show. The allegedly bootlegged equipment was covered over or removed from the show floor last week after JCB’s German lawyers secured a preliminary court ruling in its favor against three Far Eastern exhibitors.

New ideas were also evident across the show, but only six of them caught the eye of judges for this year’s Bauma innovation prize. Judges representing Germany’s engineering federation chose a mixed bag of winners, ranging from a materials-handling machine to a system that recycles energy in hydraulic excavators.