Linde customises financial services for Russia; expands in Italy

Local News
- 18 Oct 2012 ( #587 ) - Europe
3 min read
Linde Material Handling (Linde MH) has introduced its financial services plan to the Russian market for the first time at the CeMAT Russian trade show in Moscow this month.

The forklift manufacturer is partnering with Société Générale Equipment Finance Russia, the vendor finance department of Moscow-headquartered Rosbank's leasing subsidiary, to offer two alternatives to direct sales. They are usage-based, long-term hire and conventional financing geared towards equipment ownership.

Sergei Markin, CEO of Linde MH Russia, says: "Our sales employees will be responsible for the entire financing process, right through to delivery of the trucks, and will be on hand as contact partners throughout the entire term of the contract."

Linde MH claims to be the first industrial truck manufacturer in Russia to provide financial services of this kind.

Jürgen Kupka, head of financial services at Linde Material Handling, in Aschaffenburg, says customers will receive a clear overview of costs for the whole service package and need only return the truck at the end of the term, "without any associated risks".

The long-term hire service is mainly aimed at large and medium-sized customers, while financing is an option for anyone. The terms and conditions for financing and long-term hire are calculated by inputting various parameters (for example, the contract term, service modules and solvency) into a leasing calculator.

Markin says: "We are convinced we are offering customers an attractive range of options that will put us well on track for growth in the market."

Linde MH Russia has been conducting business in Russia independently since taking over the sales and service business of former partner Liftec Rusfors last December. That was followed by a takeover of Liftec's business in Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

"[The] set-up gives us significantly better market access than before," says Jens Menneke, Linde MH head of sales in eastern and southeastern Europe. "The Russian market and the former Soviet republics are crucial to the international growth strategy of Linde."

The Russian market has recovered since the economic crisis and is now Europe's fifth biggest. Linde MH has created a four-phase strategy to exploit its growth.

"The first phase was the takeover of the Liftec businesses. In the second phase, we made targeted investments in processes and infrastructure, [and] in the qualifications of our employees, to prepare them for the new challenges," Menneke says. "The introduction of our new financial services, together with our partner Rosbank, is the start of the third phase of our strategy."

Linde MH Russia is also gradually extending its range of services in customer services and used trucks. Spare parts can be supplied to service vehicles overnight and used at customers' premises.

Markin says: "The new service offering used trucks has allowed us to expand our Russian customer base significantly."

In the fourth phase, new products will be launched in 2013, according to a two-tier approach - "advanced technology products" for challenging applications and simple, reliable, robust products suitable for standard applications.

Menneke says: "At the start of the year, in addition to a facelift for the 394, the second generation of the highly successful 392/3 model of IC truck will be available. And, in February 2013, a big launch event for the new 1120 reach truck will be held in Berlin in front of customers and the press."

Linde Material Handling Italia, the Italian subsidiary of Linde Material Handling GmbH, has opened its second, wholly owned dealership - this time in Bologna. The first opened two years ago in Milan.

Linde MH Italia's new site, on Via A Magnani 5/B in Castelmaggiore, is already operational and serving the provinces of Bologna and Ravenna.

Andrea Lusvardi, director of business development at Linde MH Italia, says: "The company's objective is to strengthen its presence in the target market until it achieves the same leading position it has in other European countries - by getting even closer to customers both logistically and in terms of the variety of services offered."

Linde Material Handling GmbH, part of the KION Group, employs about 13,800 people worldwide. In 2011, its annual sales were about EUR2.856 billion (USD3.726 billion).
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