Discussion:
Zombie companies’ in the UK industry

So who are the 125 zombie companies???
anyone put names to the 125



UK forklift industry analysts have identified 125 UK forklift companies as "zombie" businesses.

David Pattison, author of the latest Plimsoll Analysis, says the companies' performance has deteriorated to the extent that they now exist to pay off their debts.

"These companies are... posting growing losses and, despite the obvious freeze in the credit markets, increasing their debts. They are zombie businesses with debts at an average of 45% of turnover. They exist to service their out-of-control liabilities," Pattison says.

He adds that many are using their suppliers to finance their losses by taking twice the industry average of 67 days to pay their bills.

Pattison explains the other problems these "zombies" are facing. "They are falling behind the rest and their productivity is well below the industry average. It's hard for them to compete as their cost base is just too high. As a result, investment plans have been mothballed meaning their aging assets are further restricting their ability to remain competitive."
  • Posted 12 Jul 2010 23:59
  • Modified 13 Jul 2010 00:03 by poster
  • Discussion started by BobSmith
  • oxon, United Kingdom
Showing items 1 - 6 of 6 results.
The problem will all way's come down to price this is why when a dealer talks they talk about the life cost's you all ways here Linde talking a bout the live cost of the truck which over time Linde Claim is lower. This problem is not as bad in larger trucks as there are not as many competitors and customers do under stand that if these were to suffer down time it could lose them customers but with lower cost trucks coming into the market and manufactures
dealing direct the national dealers now need to take a good look at how they operate. If you look at Cooper specialist handling they are doing very well. So it might be getting into the right market
  • Posted 22 Jul 2010 21:22
  • Reply by DAVE160
  • yorkshire, United Kingdom
I think the biggest problem national dealers have these days is customers are not interested in paying a little bit more for a well known brand there quite happy to rent a unknown brand at a lower price especially in this climate every one expects good service as standard its all about money and if the big dealers dont address the problem and being able to compete with prices with the local dealers then they have big problem that needs addressing.
Its a bit like buying a dvd player out of an electrical shop why pay more when you can go to a supermarket and get it for half the price ok it might not be a well know brand but it does the job and last just the same time.
  • Posted 22 Jul 2010 20:48
  • Modified 22 Jul 2010 20:49 by poster
  • Reply by Wind Breaker
  • eab, United Kingdom
Bob you have hit the nail right on the head. Many larger companies can't compete with the smaller service companies who will look after a certain customer who again is quite small and will look to purchase or rent just one or two trucks. These customers look to price and want some one local. The next customer are more larger companies some times with national accounts and might have a couple of sites these again look at price but also the service. If a manufacture like Toyota , Junghienrich ,Linde Ect who deal direct look at these customers they have to cheaper. The dealers on the other hand are much more in a harder position as they have to pay more for the truck and in a way have higher cost base. So it's simple maths the dealer network can't possibly survive in today's market. It is also worth noticing that the worlds largest manufactures deal direct. What will be more interesting is whether the manufactures follow the European selling way in other markets. North America has a good dealer network just like the UK 10 - 15 years ago
  • Posted 14 Jul 2010 02:14
  • Reply by DAVE160
  • yorkshire, United Kingdom
I have to agree a good sales ploy to sell there report maybe
plimsoll are finding times are hard as well.
But if the statement is true ? Who really wants to deal with a company who takes over 120 days (4 months ) to pay there bills , and long term that will cost jobs.

Its is intresting to read the comments like hopefully our industry will recover in the near future.

I say intresting because anyone who does not see the forklift
truck is now going through a fundamentle change.

Much in the same way as the car industry has done in the last
10 years.

In simple terms there are to many people providing forklift trucks in the UK.

The day of the dealer is now over as the margins are no longer around.
As the plysoll report said cost bases have to be cut.
In real terms Medium size compaines with 4 or 5 depots around the country with 5 service managers 5 depot managers etc are in big trouble.
And I would not mind betting make up the large Number of the
150.

You have to say companies like Toyota saw this comimg 2 or 3
years ago and binned there dealers

The other big problem for the dealers is one to five man bands.

The day when everyone laughed to the grease monkey turning up onto site in his Ford transit are now long gone.

OK they operate out of a small unit in the back end of no where
But there cost base is low and now provide a good local service.
And Maybe most importantly there worked for the local dealer
for 10 years and built up good relationship with customers.

So there you go the dealer is being hit from the top and bottom.
  • Posted 13 Jul 2010 18:40
  • Reply by BobSmith
  • oxon, United Kingdom
I agree with DAVE160, our market is at a very low point currently as all involved are well aware, with all companies finding trading conditions very difficult. The report mentioned is very expensive to purchase and during these challenging times the authors have continued to paint a grave picture of the state of the UK companies operating in the MHE arena.

Many major MHE companies trading in the UK do not record a profit and prefer to have this returned to the parent company or via other routes.

Hopefully our industry will begin to recover in the very near future.
  • Posted 13 Jul 2010 06:37
  • Reply by tm_a
  • Cheshire, United Kingdom
I can understand what you are saying but i don't think anyone will name any of these companies.I think it is a ploy to sell the report. As most people know there are a lot of companies who are struggling at the moment but who they are is down to this report. They have come up with this by looking into the accounts and have said these are the problem ones. If any one has bought the report then they will want to keep the info. A problem might arise if some one to say XYZ company is a zombie company and this is not true competition might want to name a company hoping that this will damage them. I think it would be irresponsible to name companies as this could cause damage and loss of jobs to a company who might be ok.
  • Posted 13 Jul 2010 04:19
  • Reply by DAVE160
  • yorkshire, United Kingdom

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