Doosan explores a new name, branding, and future
Company builds towards rebrand, new equipment lines
Doosan construction equipment can traditionally be recognized by its distinctive orange colour. Along with the Doosan name, it signaled the machines' durability, comfort, and efficiency. After acquisition by Hyundai Heavy Industries in August 2021, Doosan Infracore North America (DINA) was given a period of up to three years to rebrand. Doosan decided to do it as soon as possible. One of the major reasons to do it quickly was to address the concerns of its staff, customers, and dealers and let them know that while the Doosan name and its badging will change, very little else will be different.
Todd Roecker, Vice President of Growth Initiatives for Doosan Infracore North America, says, "Although the Doosan brand may not be around, everything else that you know and are familiar with will continue to operate as you have invested in. Our current plan, and so far we're still on track, is that we will launch our new brand towards the end of this year with an official announcement being planned for CONEXPO 2023."
Roecker, who refers to the new unknown name as "Brand X," says the powers that be are currently in discussions to create the new moniker. There is much to consider. He adds, "This isn't just a North American change, this is a global name change. So, we have to look at the different ethnicities. We have to make sure considering the different cultures that the name we choose translates appropriately and in the right manner."
The iconic orange colour of the machines will remain, but some new colour scheme changes could be unveiled. What's underneath that colour scheme - the technology and features that operators are accustomed to from Doosan equipment - is going to stay the same and will continue to evolve as already planned. While the visual appeal is going to change, there will also be additional nuances such as adjusted nomenclature and names of model lines. The new name will also likely tie in with Doosan's unmanned, automated, AI-driven equipment development program known as Concept-X as it continues to develop those initiatives, technologies, and the next generation of equipment.
The intent is to showcase Hyundai and "Brand X" with separate booths at CONEXPO next year with an outdoor space for a live demonstration of the Concept-X program, which will feature a yet-to-be determined lineup of equipment. Roecker says, "The outdoor space is really going to be focused on next-generation technologies. We'll go through the drone 3D mapping of the ground and how that works, the control centre and how that works, remote control operation and how that works. And, of course, it will all tie into our machine monitoring centre or our telematics."
The promotion and advertising of the Doosan brand will continue up until the change occurs. The reason behind this strategy is that people will be able to more strongly equate Doosan with the new "Brand X," thus making the transition more easy. Roecker says, "We already have distribution. We already have dealers that are qualified. We have a parts supply, we have people, so we want to be able to leverage that."
The ultimate plan is for Hyundai Heavy Industries to be two independent companies; Doosan/Brand X and Hyundai will operate entirely separately with two distribution models. Investment in the Doosan/Brand X company in the North American market will increase with the addition of about 20 percent more employees, a machine monitoring centre, and other upgrades at the Suwanee, Georgia, facility. Doosan/Brand X plans to launch roughly 32 new products between now and the end of 2024. Some will be next-generation machines, while others, like the new dozer models (including the Doosan DD100 launching in North America in Q3 2022) and new mini excavator line, will be new categories altogether.
The excitement of being able to carry on an established reputation with a new name and new colour scheme with an eye on next generation technology was apparent with Roecker. And while we wait to discover what "Brand X" will be and what it will look like, Roecker says to customers old and new, "You shouldn't be fearful to add to your fleet of Doosan equipment with more Doosan, or whatever the new brand becomes. We're still here. We're still going to be supporting you. Our dealers are still going to be supporting you and we're continuing to expand in North America."