Bobcat Company is a farm and construction equipment manufacturer headquartered in the United States that is owned by the Doosan Group of South Korea. Its American headquarters, formerly in Gwinner, North Dakota, are now in West Fargo, North Dakota. In 2017, Bobcat relocated its European headquarters from Waterloo, Belgium, to Dob (near Prague), Czech Republic, where one of its European manufacturing plants is located. It was a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand from 1995 until July 2007, when it was sold to Doosan Infracore for US$4.9 billion. Under the Bobcat brand, the company offers skid steer loaders, compact excavators, side-by-sides, compact tractors, and other small hydraulic equipment. It's one of the state's few big manufacturing firms.
Keller Welding and Repair was founded by Louis and Cyril Keller in the 1950s near Rothsay, Minnesota. Eddie Velo, a local turkey farmer, identified a need for a machine compact enough to manoeuvre inside a pole barn and light enough to run on its upper level to the Kellers in 1956. On February 4, 1957, the brothers delivered to Velo a small three-wheeled design with a belt-driven transmission. Velo gave the Kellers complete access to his operations, and after learning of the belt-driven transmission's flaws, they created and patented a more durable clutch-based transmission system in 1958. The Melroe M60 loader was built on the new transmission.
The Kellers' uncle, a machinery dealer for the Gwinner, North Dakota-based Melroe Manufacturing Company, recommended that Melroe market the machines, which led to Melroe inviting the Kellers to exhibit at the 1958 Minnesota State Fair. Melroe launched the four-wheeled M400 model "Skid-Steer Loader" in 1960, and in 1962, the 440-model loader was the first to bear the "Bobcat" trade name. During a drive between Minneapolis and Gwinner, Les Melroe and advertising agent Lynn Bickett brainstormed names and came up with "Bobcat." The slogan "tough, fast, and agile" was created by Bickett and Sylvan Melroe to promote the early loaders.
Melroe Manufacturing Company was acquired by Clark Equipment Company in 1969, and Ingersoll-Rand purchased it in 1995. Ingersoll-Rand sold Clark Equipment Company, along with the rest of its construction equipment division, to the Doosan Group of South Korea for US$4.9 billion in 2007. Bobcat Company is the new name for the Clark Equipment Company. Bobcat Company has trademark registrations for the word "Bobcat" all over the world.
In his book Hidden Champions: Lessons From 500 of the World's Best Unknown Companies, Hermann Simon recognised the organisation as a role model for other small- to medium-sized enterprises in 2009.
Please see the requirements on Bobcat's website for more information.