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IFI rebrands MINECAT UG utility vehicle business as it chases international growth

As part of a strategy to grow domestic and international sales, Industrial Fabrication Inc (IFI) of Lively, Ontario, Canada, has launched a new brand for its line of underground mine utility vehicles.

Formerly marketed under the MINECAT brand, the company has undertaken an extensive rebranding exercise to better reflect the company’s business strategy and entry into new markets, it said.

Moving forward the company and its product lines will be marketed under the brand name KOVATERA™, with this name continuing to reflect IFI’s expertise in manufacturing purpose-built utility vehicles made for the rigours of underground mining, it said.

Will Gove, Kovatera’s General Manager, said: “We have had great success in developing and marketing our product lines domestically here in Canada. The MINECAT brand has developed into a very respectable brand for our space in the Canadian underground mining industry.

“Additional to providing ongoing support to our domestic customer base, we are now focusing on expanding our footprint into new markets such as Australia, Mexico, South America, Europe and Eurasia,” he said. “Given our global expansion strategy, new product development and the starting of a new lean manufacturing production line this past January, our management team felt it was time to refresh our brand to reflect these initiatives.”

He continued: “Our rebranding process and research confirmed that our engineering and manufacturing point-of-difference since the company’s founding, is that we have just one mission: engineer and manufacture small footprint mine utility vehicles from the ground up, purpose-built to be the toughest, most reliable and lowest total cost of ownership machines in the category.”

Kovatera is a coined word made up of two root, according to Gove, with ‘Kova’ being a derivative of the Finnish word for tough – “reflecting both the ownership’s ethnic background and our mission to be the most reliable machine in the marketplace” – and ‘Tera’ being an abbreviated form of the Latin word for ‘Earth’ (terra).

“Combined, the name Kovatera reflects both our mission and the extreme environments we operate in,” he said.

The company’s plans for expansion don’t end there, with a new line of electric-powered vehicles based on the existing diesel-powered line in the final engineering and testing phase.

Gove said: “An important part of our future growth will be in the supply of alternate energy powered equipment to a marketplace that is increasingly interested in the benefits that these new power sources bring. Currently electric-battery powered vehicles are servicing this demand.

“In the future there may be other forms of energy that come into play. It is Kovatera’s mission to meet this market demand. We will not, however, ever compromise our promise to customers that our machines will be purpose-built to meet the heavy-duty cycle and tough operating environment of underground mines, while at the same time offering versatility, low cost of ownership and maximise machine uptime.”