1958 Melroe buys rights to the Keller Loader, a compact 3-wheeled loader invented by brothers Louis and Cyril Keller, who become employees of the Melroe Manufacturing Company. Introduction of the Melroe M-60 self-propelled loader.
1959 Melroe improves the design of its first loader with the launch of the M-200, another three-wheeled loader powered by a 12.9 HP petrol engine.
1960 The M-400 model is born, which, with four-wheel-drive, is the world’s first true compact skid-steer loader.
1962 Launch of the M-440, an improved version of the M-400. A Melroe associate suggests that the loader be called a ‘Bobcat’ in honour of the prairie animal which is ‘tough, quick and agile’.
1963 Further design improvements make the new M-444 model loader a real success. The first Bobcat skid-steer loaders arrive in Europe.
1965 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.
1967 Luff & Smith goes bankrupt, so new licensing arrangements are made with an Italian manufacturer, Beltrami, based at Ravenna, to manufacture for the European market.
1969 Melroe Company, USA, is acquired by Clark Equipment Company. European annual sales near $1 million. European dealer network: about 10.
1970 Introduction of the Bob-Tach quick-change attachment system, ROPS operator guard, and the ‘Big-Bob’ M-970, the first skid-steer loader with hydrostatic drive.
1971 A marketing office is established in Brussels.
1972 Production of the Bobcat loader is transferred from Beltrami to a Clark-owned facility in Aumenau, Germany: Scheid Maschinenfabrik.
1975 Clark Intermational Marketing S.A. (CIMSA) headquarters (an office and bonded warehouse) are established in Dworp, Belgium, ca. 15 km south of Brussels. Total staff: about 20. Production at Scheid Maschinenfabrik is transferred to North Dakota, USA.
1977 The 30 series Bobcat loaders come into the picture with the introduction at the European dealer meeting in Monte Carlo of the 530 model, featuring cab, seat and armrest improvements.
1980 Cramped for space, CIMSA moves to another location in Forest, Brussels. European dealer network: nearly 90.
1982 Introduction of the 40 series Bobcat loaders.
1984 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.
1986 With the launch of 2 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: about 75. Annual sales in Europe: around $20 million.
1989 Melroe Company begins production of its own line of mini-excavators at its plant in Bismarck, North Dakota.
1990 Melroe Europe moves to much larger facilities at Lot, ca. 10 km south of Brussels. Spare parts is established with Melroe Parts Trading in Mülheim, Germany.
1991 ‘A Decade Ahead’: With the introduction of the Bobcat 50 series skid-steer loaders, Melroe again leads the industry to a higher level of innovation with state-of-the-art electronics and enhanced safety features.
1992 Record sales in Europe: $150 million.
1994 Purchase of Lot facilities. Total staff, including field personnel, in Europe: about 100.
1995 Melroe and its parent Clark organisation are acquired by Ingersoll-Rand Company for $1.7 billion. Melroe forms part of what will later become Ingersoll Rand Infrastructure Sector.
1998 Melroe Company is renamed Bobcat Company. Melroe Europe becomes Bobcat Europe. 100 European dealers. Bobcat Company extends the mini-excavator range with the launch of the 5-tonne 337/341 models.
1999 Bobcat Europe launches its first compact tracked loader, the model 864.
2000 Bobcat Company purchases Sambron SA, a long established manufacturer of telescopic handlers based at Pont-Château in northwest France.
2001 Bobcat Company produces its 500,000th skid-steer loader. Introduction in Europe of the A220, the world’s first compact loader which combines all-wheel steering with skid-steering, at the flip of a switch in the operator cab. The company purchases Superstav, s.r.o., a manufacturer of compact loader-backhoes based in Dobris, Czech Republic.
2002 Bobcat Company produces its 50.000th mini-excavator. New 7.5 tonne 442 midi-excavator launched. European Bobcat dealer network reaches 140.
2003 Product Development Centre for Bobcat Europe established in Dobris, Czech Republic.
2004 First Bobcat 553 skid-steer loader produced at former Superstav plant in Dobris, Czech Republic.
2005 Ingersoll-Rand splits Infrastructure sector into two new sectors, Compact Vehicle Technologies, comprising Bobcat Company and Club Car, and Construction Technologies. Bobcat Europe enters the articulated wheeled loader market with the launch of 3 models. The Bobcat Europe excavator product line is extended with the launch of the 12.5 tonne 444 midi-excavator. Production of the compact loader-backhoes in Dobris, Czech Republic, is discontinued. Bobcat Company worldwide sales surpass $2 billion.
2006 Bobcat launches the first European designed and manufactured mini-excavator, model 319. New administrative headquarters open in Waterloo in Belgium. The facilities in Lot are closed.
2007 New Megacentre Puurs II logistics facility for Bobcat machines and parts opens in Puurs in Belgium. New European Factory and Training Centre open in Dobris, Czech Republic. Bobcat launches the S100, the first skid-steer loader designed and manufactured in Europe. The innovative T2250 telehandler is also launched in Europe. Dealers in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA): ca. 170.
Ingersoll Rand announces on 30 July the sale of Bobcat Company to Doosan Infracore.
2008 Bobcat celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the skid-steer loader.