We published an interview with Maksim Preobrazhensky, Marketing Director of Huskvarna LLC, in which the company spoke about the company’s plans to launch the McCulloch brand on the Russian market. The new items were expected to hit the market in 2013. Well, the specified year has come and the promises are beginning to come true – new equipment is already arriving at the warehouses of trading companies. At the same time, new information has appeared on the technical features of the McCulloch models.
But it’s worth starting not with technology, but with brand positioning. McCulloch itself is not a novelty in Russia. Once this brand was already represented on our market, in the segment of low-cost equipment – at the same level as another well-known brand belonging to the Husqvarna concern, namely Partner. But times have changed, and the current McCulloch has practically nothing to do with the old one – in fact, it is a completely new brand with completely changed model lines.
In terms of price, it is positioned as a cross between the budget “Partner” and the premium segment, which is represented by “Husqvarna”, but, let’s say, “closer to Husqvarna than to the Partner”. It will be possible to purchase new equipment both in DIY hypermarkets and in a dealer network. Moreover, for DIY chains, this will be a premium product (because Husqvarna equipment is sold only through dealers and is not presented in DIY), and for dealers, the appearance of a new line means an expansion of the range and the opportunity to fill an empty niche.
Despite the fact that both Husqvarna and Partner are very popular, there is a steady demand in the Russian market for “something in between”, which has so far been met by other brands.
With the advent of McCulloch, those dealers that already work with Husqvarna will have something to offer to those who love the “golden mean”.
The assortment of the new brand includes all the most popular types of equipment: chainsaws, lawn mowers, lawn mowers, large wheeled vehicles (tractors and riders), blowers. There is also a program of consumables and accessories Universal by McCulloch. Let’s talk about all this in more detail.
Chainsaws are the most massive segment of the garden equipment market. McCulloch introduces three models on the market – CS 330, 360 and 400T. They differ in design from both Partner and Husqvarna – outwardly they are an original technique with its own unique look. As for the technical features, the first two digits of the marking indicate the volume of the cylinder – 33, 36 and 40 “cubes”, respectively. But the saws differ from each other not only in power – they are equipped with tires of different lengths (14, 16 and 18 inches, i.e. 35, 40 and 45 cm). The older model (CS 400T) is also equipped with a toolless chain tensioner. In addition, all the previous “developments” of the Husqvarna concern were taken into account – the system of preliminary centrifugal air cleaning, a professional anti-vibration system built on the principle of “two masses”, a special coating of the inner surface of the cylinder – all this is present here in full.
And finally, the most interesting thing. All three of these models are powered by proprietary OxyPower engines – this is the name of the technology that Husqvarna refers to as X-Torq. This is a system for purging the cylinder with clean air, not a fuel mixture, which leads to a sharp increase in efficiency, an increase in power and a significant reduction in the content of harmful substances in the exhaust gases. At Partner, this technology was implemented only on very expensive chainsaws.
In the 2013 season, users are offered two lines of McCulloch petrol cutters – with engines of 22 and 28 cm3. The lineup will be similar to the Husqvarna range (among the models with the indicated engine size), but slightly cheaper. McCulloch and Husqvarna petrol cutters are based on the same engines. This is very convenient for dealers and service departments – the bulk of spare parts are unified, and in any region of Russia you can use the services of Husqvarna service centers for repair and maintenance of McCulloch lawn mowers. So the “introduction” of McCulloch to this market with its line does not cause any problems – at least for motors, the picture is quite rosy, warehouses and selections of spare parts and consumables are already ready in the regions, and the craftsmen have long gone through the necessary training.
However, if the engines of the new products are the same as those of Husqvarna, then in other aspects there is some difference – the price reduction must be due to something. It is achieved by deliberate simplification of the design: somewhere the drive shaft is simpler, a slightly cheaper rod, not such a rich package … all this allows you to reduce the cost without compromising quality.
Here we can talk about the most serious innovations. Husqvarna – one of the world’s main consumers of four-stroke internal combustion engines for garden equipment – has launched a line of its own motors under its own brand (Husqvarna, as you might guess). Moreover, one of the new models has a McCulloch-branded motor. In terms of characteristics and level of performance, the new motor will be at the level of the best analogues of the world’s largest manufacturers. And sometimes even higher – in particular, the McCulloch motor immediately comes with a cast-iron sleeve integrated into the block, which is not always found in such engines, even by the world’s largest manufacturers. This dramatically increases the resource of the motor and its durability.
On the technical side, it’s worth mentioning that Husqvarna recently introduced a new mowing and chopping system and it will be featured on McCulloch lawn mowers. The main difference of the new design is the special shape of the knife.
CULTIVATORS AND SNOW SPREADERS
This direction also seems to be very promising, especially since it was in cultivators that the offer of the “primary” brands Husqvarna and Partner could not be called very rich. This niche was clearly empty, but in the meantime, cultivators and walk-behind tractors are in great demand in Russia. In the new season, DIY McCulloch cultivators with a 5 hp engine will appear on sale in DIY chains. pp., working width up to 60 cm and cost about 20,000 rubles. Structurally more complex machines with separate drive of wheels and cutters, Briggs & Stratton 900 series engines and costing less than 40,000 rubles will also appear. By the way, they are produced at the same factories as the Husqvarna cultivators.
As for snow throwers, the formation of the model range is already underway. Yes, such equipment will also be presented under the McCulloch brand, but already in the 2013–2014 season. The technique is expected to be simple but reliable … but the most important thing is the price tag. Never before has the Husqvarna concern offered its customers snow throwers in the segment of 30,000–40,000 rubles. Moreover, we are talking specifically about two-stage (screw-rotor) units. Of course, these will be fairly simple machines, but it is in this price segment that there is massive demand among private users.
TRACTORS & RIDERS
Three directions are presented here. A mini-rider is, in fact, a lawn mower with a seat, with a cutting width of 66 cm, but … costing less than 50,000 rubles. With a power of 6.5-7.5 liters. with. it can mow any lawn much faster and more efficiently than any pushed or self-propelled lawn mower without a seat. In 2013, a similar mini-rider will be available without a grass catcher (which will come as an option), with a deck operating in ejection or mulching mode. And already next season, a slightly more powerful machine with a grip of 77 cm and a grass catcher in the kit will appear.
There will be a whole line of garden tractors that will look different from Partner and Husqvarna machines.
Another very interesting novelty is the McCulloch rider with an unusual layout. It is a front wheel drive vehicle with large front wheels and small rear wheels, which provides excellent maneuverability and makes it possible to “load” the front of the machine with various devices. If you put snow chains on the front wheels, then even the smallest car with a capacity of 12.5 liters. with. will be able to clear snow with a dozer blade.
EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES
The line is called Universal by McCulloch. The name is no coincidence: earlier, under the Universal Outdoor Accessories brand, equipment for Partner equipment was offered. However, this turned out to be not entirely convenient – without understanding the issue, it is difficult to guess that Universal Outdoor Accessories has something to do with the Partner brand. But the very idea that it is necessary to offer a full range of everything necessary for work and maintenance for equipment is obvious – it is very convenient when you can buy everything at once and in one place. So there is such a proposal for McCulloch, but in order to avoid confusion for the equipment, they immediately picked up a name that is unambiguously associated with the brand, so that the user does not need to guess where to look for a tire and a chain for a saw or a line for a lawn mower.