Effective September 1st, 2004, Clark Europe GmbH was founded in Duisburg, Germany, which means Clark - the inventor of the forklift truck some 90 years ago - is "back in Europe" again. This is a milestone in Clark's strategy of strengthening its position in major global markets.
In order to be able to fulfil the demand of the markets, the capacity of Clark's modern factory in Changwon, Korea, will be increased. In 2004, output will be roughly 8,000 forklifts, but by 2006, Changwon will produce 12,000 machines. Moreover, the beginning of 2005 will see a new Clark factory start production in China, which will initially manufacture about 2,000 forklifts per year. Furthermore, Clark has purchased a new, 150,000 square foot facility for production in the United States (Lexington, Kentucky). The US plant will produce its first forklifts in spring 2005.
The main goal of Clark Europe is, at first, to set up a dealer network throughout Europe, giving support to dealers and providing the market with spare parts as well as holding a stock of trucks for immediate delivery.
Managing Director Egon Strehl: "We will support our distributors in Great Britain, France and Spain. In the other European markets, we are relying on competent dealers with a strong position in their regions, and we will cooperate with them intensely to fulfil customers' demands in the best possible way. At the moment, we are extending our dealer network mainly in Western Europe."
The Duisberg location is prepared for growth. Spare parts can be stored there, and forklifts are adapted individually to the specifications of customers. From Duisburg, Clark can offer a comprehensive forklift range. Clark's battery-driven trucks, with energy-saving AC technology, cover a capacity range from 1.6 to 3.5 tons; ICE forklifts cover capacities from 1.5 to 7.5 tons.
The range features extremely compact forklifts with cushion tyres, which are able to work in very confined spaces and narrow aisles, and the ICE forklift series "GEN 2", which includes innovative ergonomic features.
For the next two years, Clark aims at reaching ambitious targets.
Egon Strehl: "The European forklift market will grow in moderate terms only, and we plan to grow in a more rapid way. So we will gain or re-gain market shares. We are very confident that we will be capable of reaching these goals, because our forklift range features high quality, high productivity and a very attractive relationship between cost and value. And we can rely on the outstanding reputation of Clark forklifts."
Within four or five years, Clark plans to set up an assembly or manufacturing plant in Europe.