Merthyr Tydfil will close this year

News Story
- 30 May 2013 ( #618 ) - Wiesbaden, Germany
2 min read
The KION Group has decided to close the Linde Material Handling factory in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, UK by the end of October after negotiations with stakeholders that started early this year failed to yield a satisfactory result (Forkliftaction.com News #602).

Linde container handling trucks will be produced by Konecranes after the two companies signed a partnership agreement earlier this year (Forkliftaction.com News #604). Heavy forklift production will transfer to a contract manufacturing facility belonging to VOP in the Czech Republic from September, with full production scheduled for October. VOP is already a major supplier to Linde Material Handling and, according to KION spokesman Frank Brandmaier, the Czech firm's expertise in producing bespoke, specialist vehicles makes it an ideal partner.

In 1989, Linde AG acquired the British truck manufacturer Lansing, and expanded its product range to include empty and laden container handlers and sideloaders. Linde moved to the production site in Merthyr Tydfil in 2000, taking it over from South Korean industrial truck manufacturer Halla Ltd, which had set up the site in 1996. The site covers about 240,000 sqm (2,580,000 sqft.), and includes a production hall with an office wing that extends over almost 21,000 sqm (226,000 sqft.). Linde heavy trucks and container handlers were previously built 24 km (15 mi.) away in the Lansing Linde Ltd plant in Blackwood, but there was no opportunity for expansion at the site.

The Merthyr Tydfil site employs 203 people in manufacturing, engineering, sales, service and administration. The group has agreed to a loyalty and severance package with the employees and their representatives, and offers affected employees the opportunity to apply for vacant positions at other sites.

KION says it will commit to providing "as much assistance as possible" to employees seeking alternative work or training.

KION Group's restructured European production network is expected to boost the competitiveness of Linde forklifts in the long term, Linde Material Handling CEO Theodor Maurer said early this year.

The KION Group comprises the six brands: Linde, STILL, Fenwick, OM STILL, Baoli and Voltas. It claims to be Europe's market leader in industrial trucks, the global number two in the industry and the leading non-domestic supplier in China. The KION Group employed more than 21,000 people and generated revenue of EUR4.73 billion (USD6.08 billion) in 2012.
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