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Kubota to beef up N. America ops to meet 2 tril. yen sales target

Agricultural and construction machinery maker Kubota Corp. is
aiming to strengthen its North American business in a bid to achieve
its group sales target of 2 trillion yen ($17.8 billion) in 2019, its
president said.

Kubota will ramp up production capacity for construction
machinery in the United States to meet robust demand, Masatoshi
Kimata said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

The company plans to build a U.S. construction machinery plant
in several years, as U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to increase
infrastructure projects is expected to boost demand.

The company is also trying to tap into emerging economies as
part of efforts to make up for shrinking demand in Japan. Among those
markets, the company is in particular focusing on India, a market
with demand for some 600,000 farming machines a year.

Kimata said he hopes to increase Kubota's market share in the
country from around 1 percent to "3 percent in several years as our
brand recognition is gradually rising." The company will prepare for
local tractor production there.

Kubota posted group sales of 1.6 trillion yen in 2016, with
overseas sales accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total, and
expects group sales to rise 5 percent to 1.68 trillion yen this year.

Banking on overseas markets to drive growth, the company plans
to step up the launch of large tractors with more powerful engines in
the United States and Europe. (Feb. 27)