The Hustler Raptor is marketed toward large-property homeowners and will help Excel to compete in a new market.
Excel Industries, maker of Hustler and BigDog lawnmowers, is preparing for what they think will be a banner year. The company is ramping up production of new products under both brands in 2013. Continuous facility and employee investment will help them to meet customer demand and reach their goals as a company in the coming year.
Facility and staff investment
Embracing growth in the zero-turn mower market, Excel will be increasing the manufacturing and distribution of their zero-turn mowers. The company says they are committed to providing what they think are some of the best zero-turn mowers on the market.
“The zero-turn market is a growing market with limitless opportunities for residential, commercial and industrial owners,” says Corey Seidl, product manager at Excel. “We have added additional distribution of our product across the globe and introduced five new product families this fall. We expect the new families to increase market share and don’t forecast much cannibalism from the legacy products.”
To meet the increasing production demands, Excel has brought on roughly 39 full-time employees, bringing the company’s employee total to 450. They also completed a 40,000-square-foot addition to their production facility in 2012. Facility and employee investments are helping to drive a positive corporate culture.
“Employees at Excel Industries invest every day in our facilities, products and production,” says Seidl. “We are committed to our core values and beliefs. These values were drawn from our experience as a company and upon reflection of the many employees that have demonstrated these attributes throughout our history.”
The company’s growth has led to many product family additions, including a new and more affordable zero-turn mower. The Hustler Raptor is marketed toward large-property homeowners and will help Excel to compete in a new market.
“We have never competed in the sub-$3,000 market with a mower that stacked up head to head with other brands,” explains Seidl. “The Raptor is our first product to do so. The Raptor has many advantages over the competition in the sub-$3,000 zero-turn mower market such as a welded steel deck, not a stamped deck.”
Orders from dealers starting in the fall of 2012 have shown promise. Dealers are embracing the product line and hoping customers will do the same.
“Orders are meeting our expectations for the first quarter and units are starting to retail at a good pace even though we are in the winter season,” says Seidl.
The commercial segment of products from Excel has reportedly shown strength as well. As current products maintained popularity, the company also introduced new commercial mowers to their lineup. The company hopes to build off of their commercial mower reputation.
“The market is expected to be up, so if we didn’t change anything to the line that would be good news,” explain Seidl. “However, we introduced three new commercial-grade families: X-ONEi, New Super Z and Super Z HyperDrive.”
As order numbers for the Raptor hold strong, Excel is also seeing the same strength with other product lines. Numbers are expected to be up through the spring.
“With the product and programs we have in place, we see no reason for them to slow down as spring approaches,” says Seidl. “Our other products are just as anticipated, and as they come into production we should see the same success.”