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Corporate Timeline

Corporate Timeline in EMEA

See how the company has grown and developed over six decades in EMEA. 

Bobcat skid-steer loaders arrive for the first time in the European marketplace – demand is met by products imported from the USA. 

Melroe Company moves into the European marketplace, signing a license agreement with Luff & Smith of Southampton, England, to manufacture Bobcat skid-steer loaders. Melroe opens a new facility at Chandlers Ford in Hampshire, close to the Luff & Smith plant. 

Luff & Smith goes bankrupt, so new licensing arrangements are made with an Italian manufacturer, Beltrami, based at Ravenna, to manufacture for the European market.  

Melroe Company, USA, is acquired by Clark Equipment Company. Annual sales in Europe are around $1 million and the European dealer network now numbers about 10 companies.  

A marketing office is established in Brussels, Belgium.  

Production of Bobcat loaders is transferred from Beltrami to a Clark-owned facility in Aumenau, Germany: Scheid Maschinenfabrik.  

Clark Intermational Marketing S.A. (CIMSA) headquarters (an office and bonded warehouse) are established in Dworp, Belgium, ca. 15 km south of Brussels. The company has around 20 employees. Production at Scheid Maschinenfabrik is transferred to North Dakota, USA. 

Melroe introduces a distinctive new logo, the Bobcat cathead. Formerly a division of the Clark Equipment Company, Melroe becomes the Melroe Company, a business unit of the Clark Equipment Company.

Cramped for space, CIMSA moves to another location in Forest, Brussels. The European dealer network has nearly 90 dealers. 

With the launch of two new product lines to complement the skid-steer loaders - mini-excavators and compact trenchers - Melroe Company diversifies and begins its transformation into the world’s leading compact equipment manufacturer. In Europe, total staff, including field personnel number about 75. Annual sales in Europe are worth around $20 million. 

Melroe Europe moves to much larger facilities at Lot, ca. 10 km south of Brussels. Spare parts operation is established with Melroe Parts Trading in Mülheim, Germany.

Record annual sales in Europe of $150 million.  

The Lot facilities are purchased by Melroe Europe. Total staff, including field personnel, in Europe number around 100.  

Melroe and its parent Clark organisation are acquired by Ingersoll-Rand Company for $1.7 billion.

Melroe Company is renamed Bobcat Company. Melroe Europe becomes Bobcat Europe. European dealer network now comprises 100 companies.

Bobcat Europe launches its first compact tracked loader, the model 864. 

Bobcat Company purchases Sambron SA, a long established manufacturer of telehandlers based at Pontchâteau in north-west France. The Pontchâteau plant produces all the Bobcat telehandlers for the world market, with telehandler design, development, production and sales organisations all based at the plant.

Bobcat Company produces its 500,000th skid-steer loader. Bobcat Company purchases Superstav, s.r.o., a manufacturer of compact loader-backhoes based in Dobris in the Czech Republic. 

Bobcat Company produces its 50,000th compact excavator. The new 7.5 tonne 442 midi-excavator is launched. The European Bobcat dealer network has grown to include 140 dealers.


The Product Development Centre for Bobcat Europe is established in Dobris, Czech Republic. 

The first Bobcat skid-steer loader to be manufactured in Europe for 30 years was marked by production of a 553 model at the former Superstav plant in Dobris. 

Bobcat Europe enters the articulated wheeled loader market with the launch of three models. The Bobcat Europe excavator product line is extended with the launch of the 12.5 tonne 444 midi-excavator. Production of compact loader-backhoes in Dobris is discontinued. Bobcat Company worldwide sales surpass $2 billion. 

Bobcat launches the first European designed and manufactured compact excavator, the 319 model. New administrative headquarters are opened in Waterloo, Belgium. The facilities in Lot are closed. 

Doosan Infracore purchases Bobcat Company from Ingersoll Rand. The Megacentre Puurs II logistics facility for Bobcat machines and parts opens in Puurs in Belgium. The new European Factory and Training Centre opens in Dobris. Bobcat launches the S100, the first skid-steer loader designed and manufactured in Europe. The innovative T2250 telehandler is also launched in Europe. The total number of dealers in EMEA is about 170.  

Bobcat celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the skid-steer loader and builds its 750,000th loader. The first Bobcat office in the Middle East opens in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. 

Bobcat marks 25 years of success in the compact excavator market.

The 50th anniversary of the Bobcat telehandler plant at Pontchâteau is celebrated. 

The one millionth Bobcat loader comes off the production line in the USA.  The 20,000th telehandler is produced at Pontchâteau.

The new Parts Distribution Centre for Bobcat products opens in Dubai.

Bobcat also opens the new Innovation Centre at Dobris. This is a European Engineering Centre of Excellence, serving as an expert R&D centre for all Doosan Bobcat engineering teams across EMEA, with specific responsibility for small loaders and compact excavators from 1-3 tonne.

Bobcat launches a new range of backhoe loaders for sale in markets in the Middle East and Africa.