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Thursday, 7 May 2015 ( #717 )
Baoli D-series in operation
Interview with Rory Harvey-Kelly, General Manager of Baoli Material Handling Europe for Logistics Business Magazine

A growing material handling market, manufacturers announcing strategic expansion and new players appearing on the European market are the current news of the forklift industry. Logistics Business Magazine spoke to Rory Harvey-Kelly, General Manager of Baoli Material Handling Europe, about the opportunities and challenges occurring from these changes.

Rory Harvey-Kelly, General Manager of Baoli Material Handling Europe
Logistics Business: Baoli is offering forklifts developed and manufactured in China. What is the impact on your business of the other Chinese manufacturers expanding in Europe?
Harvey-Kelly: We make it clear to dealers and operators that using stereotypes about products from emerging markets is not the right way to find suitable trucks for specific requirements. It would be wrong to see Baoli just as another Chinese manufacturer because we are able to offer more.

Logistics Business: So, how are you different from the others?
Harvey-Kelly: KION Baoli Jiangsu, headquartered in China, is an integral part of a global company with many years of experience in the European market. For example, Maxim GB has been a key partner with Baoli for ten years exclusively distributing Baoli products in the UK.

Logistics Business: Why should this be a benefit for the customer?
Harvey-Kelly: Local distributors and dealers know best about customer requirements so they can provide the appropriate products and services. Therefore we are managing sales and service operations exclusively via distributors.

Logistics Business: Many other Asian manufacturers also sell in Europe via distributors.
Harvey-Kelly: We do not see our distributors and dealers as a low-cost sales team. We make continuous investments to support them. Our European headquarters in Prague provides technical training and support, warranty procedure and spare parts management. Distributors are able to exchange their experiences via networking meetings. Furthermore, we are continuously developing our product range. Last year we launched a new generation of engine and electric trucks.

Logistics Business: When developing new products, in which way do you improve your forklifts?
Harvey-Kelly: Our most important aspect is to keep the trucks practical for service and operation while improving reliability and safety. For example the new diesel series, thanks to a downward sloped counterweight and a new design of the overhead guard cover provides better visibility for the operator. Reliability is improved by using more robust materials. For example, the engine hood is made of iron with insulation foam fitted inside.

Logistics Business: You are right. This does not sound like the usual stereotypes about Chinese forklifts. But what about the price for these upgraded forklifts?
Harvey-Kelly: There are always two aspects: The products have to meet the standards requested in the European market. The improvements I mentioned concern these standards. Of course, we have to meet cost expectations. Therefore we are clearly different from premium products regarding cost as well as design. This is our positioning niche. As a result we are getting very often the feedback that Baoli forklifts are better than expected.

Logistics Business: You are talking about counterbalance forklifts while most of your competitors are offering a portfolio including warehouse equipment.
Harvey-Kelly: You are absolutely right. Our customers expect to receive a complete portfolio from one supplier. In addition to our counterbalance forklifts we also offer warehouse equipment.

Logistics Business: The market is still increasing. Do you expect further growth for your company?
Harvey-Kelly: In the last two years Baoli and our distributor network has made important investments, which have already resulted in increasing sales. This has also raised the Baoli image which sees a growing distributor and dealer network across Europe. From our perspective, we are building a strong foundation to develop further growth.

For further information please contact:

Vera Klickova
Baoli Material Handling Europe
Phone: +420 255 725 441
Email: Send an email

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