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**Exclusive**: From the ashes… Clark Europe v.2.0

Thursday, 4 Nov 2004 ( #182 ) - DUISBURG, Germany
News Story
More than a year since it was shut down and its assets sold to FiLCO GmbH, Clark Europe is back in Germany, with fresh plans for growth and a renewed focus.

The company, formerly based in Mulheim, reopened on September 1 under the stewardship of managing director Egon Strehl. Strehl was formerly responsible for Clark Europe’s spare parts, and bankrolled by its South Korean parent, Young An Hat Co.

In an exclusive interview with News Strehl said the goal of the new business was to "improve the old Clark", with a focus on establishing a strong dealer network.

"Young An has a very realistic approach to our profitability targets. At this stage, every new forklift sold is a positive for us," he said. "We hope to rapidly grow the network through quality dealers, and expect to sell between 2000-2300 forklifts next year."

Strehl, who served Clark Europe for 20 years, joined Intrupa in the Netherlands following the insolvency, where he focused on providing Clark parts to European customers for 10 months. He also served with Toyota as a spare parts manager in Europe before he was approached with Clark’s plan in July.

"It was a turbulent time when the company was in trouble, but I was lucky enough to be able to work with some exciting companies and suffer little disruption," he said.

Now that the company’s back in Europe, the number one priority was to build up the stock of trucks and spare parts to enhance the service and support provided to European customers.

Priority two for the new business, says Strehl, was to build a network of 12 exclusive dealerships around Germany.

"Germany is the focus at first, as the country was all but deserted by the old dealers when the company closed before," he said.

Clark Europe would receive its forklift stock from Changwon, Korea, and had struck an agreement with a Spanish producer of electric forklifts, from 1.6-3.5 ton capacities , for re-badging and distribution as Clark models.

Strehl hopes to sell 5000 forklifts a year, the level Clark Europe previously reached, by 2010.

"The important message for the industry is that we’re back in business, and looking for quality dealers to grow our business," he said.
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