Kubota faces 2022 with the awareness of having withstood the shock of the pandemic and having gained a significant market share in off-highway applications, also in Europe. We interviewed Takayuki Tsujimoto (Vice President Business Unit Engine Europe – Kubota Holding Europe), Ryota Hiraiwa (General Manager, Engine Division, Kubota Europe SAS), Xavier Hamel (Senior Export Sales Manager, Engine Division, Kubota Europe SAS) of Kubota Business Unit Engine Europe at the SAIM stand during EIMA.

What are Kubota’s strategies for 2022, after such a long period of pandemic?

Takayuki TsujimotoAfter the pandemic, the economy is growing globally and so is the engine business. Engine manufacturers are trying to develop new alternatives for the future, for the next five or ten years, but still combustion engines will be our major business.

It is important to balance both sides of the relationship: in the middle there is a customer, on one side there is a strong and reliable company, on the other side a dealer, who has to be a kind of translator of the language of engine block into a different language. How do you understand the specific needs of the local customer?

Xavier HamelIt’s quite right to say that the company needs the support of a “translator”. The ability of Mr. Furuta, President of Kubota Europe SAS, Paris, in the 1990s, was to find a partner that, more than a translator, knew the products, the markets and the right way to introduce them. That’s why we consider SAIM as a partner: because they know our products like we do, but they know the local markets much better than us. This has been the ability of Mr. Furuta: in Italy we have SAIM, in Spain TransDiesel, in Holland Prins Maasdijk, in Belgium Matermaco, as partners of the French Kubota company. Kubota’s network all over Europe was also created through our sister companies in Germany and the UK many years ago and has always been very professional. 

Massimo Donà, CEO of SAIM: Xavier has spent more than 21 years in Kubota, so he played a very important role in our growth in Italy, he has contributed to the success of SAIM exactly with a very close relationship with every single OEM with the help of Michelangelo Di Gregorio and, in very recent years, Paolo Bassi (both are SAIM sales representatives, editor’s note).

Michelangelo Di Gregorio, SAIM Sales Manager: We are proud to be here today to discuss about Kubota because the quality of the product is off the table, but Xavier was able to transmit this quality to the market. Step by step, we propose solutions and make the customers think that Japan is just behind the corner.

Massimo DonàThirty years are not a short period, but they elapsed very quickly, and ahead of us there are at least further thirty years of intense cooperation.

Kubota is enhancing its range up the 5-litre Diesel of the Year 2019, but Kubota is still the one of the strongest players below 96 kW. Do you have news about this?

Ryota HiraiwaToday we present for the first time in the world the D902-K, a recently developed common-rail engine in the Super Mini family that will be able to mark a path towards lower emissions, compliant with China IV standards. D902-K is the electronically-controlled diesel engine below 19 kW. It saves users of our current engines from the need to develop new machinery to accommodate changes in dimensions and/or structures and is complying with the latest emission standards around the world. The end result is that it is compact and easy to mount, with clean emissions (the amount of black smoke is reduced to an imperceptible level) and low fuel consumption. This innovative engine corresponds to various regional emission standards, including China’s national smoke regulations Category III, which are the toughest state-wide smoke emission standards there, in addition to EPA Tier 4, Stage V, and China IV standards (implemented in December 2022). This engine is able to use CAN, thus allowing engine speed and torque to be controlled using signals from vehicles.

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