BALKANCAR WOES CONTINUE

News Story
- 18 Sep 2003 ( #125 ) - SOFIA, Bulgaria
1 min read
Embattled Balkancar Holding EAD, once the world's largest per-capita forklift manufacturer, made just 320 forklifts from January to July.

According to the Bulgarian News Digest, the company's output was as high as 4,316 forklift trucks in 1994. Production dropped to 522 in 2000 and 400 in 2001.

After several failed privatisation attempts, Balkancar was declared insolvent in September 2002 with debts totalling 400,000 levs (USD99.7 million). The company's largest creditors are Roseximbank, to which it owes 111.7 million levs (USD61.8 million), Yorset Holding, 31 million levs (USD17.2 million) and Biochim Bank, 1.2 million levs (USD700,000).

In the late 1980s, the state-owned company made Bulgaria the world's number one per capita producer of forklifts. Balkancar forklifts led the Eastern Europe and Comecon markets, and the company sold its products in Asia and Africa. Comecon was an economic organisation similar to the EU, linking the former USSR with Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, East Germany, Mongolia, Cuba, Vietnam, Albania and Yugoslavia. It was disbanded in June 1991. With EU approval in 1997, Balkancar forklifts were sold in England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Croatia.
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