Suppliers are rolling out COVID-19 deals
Manufacturers and dealers continue to offer incentives to drive sales and offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
UK materials handling Briggs Equipment has handled numerous requests from existing and new customers regarding financing options for their fleet, according to group sales and marketing director Leigh Edgley.
"Our in-house Briggs Finance facility has provided us with the flexibility to meet these requests and the individual circumstances of each business that we've dealt with. Whether that's via a payment holiday, re-structuring of the initial agreement or bespoke terms, we've been there to support," he adds
French MEWP and telehandler manufacturer Haulotte recently launched a 'Buy Now, Pay Later' finance package to help customers with the challenging circumstances caused by COVID-19.
The initiative, available through the Haulotte network, applies to its full range of aerial work platforms and telehandlers.
Christophe Debatisse, group treasury and financing director, says: "During such an exceptional time, we wanted to provide our customers in the rental business or industry and our dealers with a simple and affordable cashflow-oriented financing solution to purchase the latest Haulotte equipment."
For all new models ordered before 31 October 2020 and delivered by the end of 2020, customers are offered a three-month payment holiday, plus an option to get an additional three-month period of low payments before a normal repayment schedule kicks start.
JCB Finance, the finance arm of UK equipment maker JCB, has been accredited by the British Business Bank to provide the Government Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) - designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the scheme, new and existing customers who need to invest in JCB equipment or non-competitive machinery made by other manufacturers, but have concerns about the impact of Coronavirus on their cash flow, are able to apply for a CBILS-backed hire purchase facility. The fixed rate facility will have a six-month payment pause, then 48 monthly instalments with the British Business Bank paying the interest during the first 12 months.
JCB Finance managing director Paul Jennings says with over 10,000 SME customers across construction, industry and agriculture, JCB Finance is well placed to help get the funding where it's needed and help support businesses as they experience lost or deferred revenues because of COVID-19.
"JCB Finance has built a strong reputation for supporting businesses through good times and bad over its 50 years of trading, so becoming one of the latest partners of the British Business Bank to deliver the loans is great news," he adds.
In another COVID-19 initiative, JCB has also started to sell machines online for the first time in its history, with the S2632 scissor lift included in the limited online line-up.
JCB UK and Ireland sales director Steve Smith explains: "We are determined to support our customers' machine requirements during the challenging current Covid-19 crisis. The new service gives customers the ability to buy some of JCB's most popular products online, directly from the manufacturer, with no need to meet face-to-face or leave their homes."
Briggs' Edgley tells Forkliftaction
that COVID-19 has affected customers in different ways, with some in food production, logistics and packaging still operating at full capacity, while others have had to partially or fully shut down. "The benefit of having a flexible finance option has proved incredibly important for some of those customers, and the ability for them to manage their cashflow via Briggs Finance has quite simply been a lifeline."
As recently reported
, Toyota launched a "no payments until 2021 on all new Toyota Forklift leases" offered in the United States, covering all Toyota forklift and warehouse equipment.
Polaris Commercial and its dealers introduced various financing and leasing options for Pro XD, Taylor-Dunn and GEM commercial vehicles, where commercial customers can receive 12 months no-interest financing or a USD500 credit on new equipment purchases.
Meanwhile, Snorkel UK launched a 'Kickstart' special financing program, which is available until 31 August 2020, and enables customers to buy new Snorkel or Ruthmann Bluelift products with no deposit and no payments for six months.
Besides financial incentives, some suppliers are also offering advice to businesses returning to work after COVID-19 shut-downs.
UK Mitsubishi forklifts importer RDD is offering an obligation-free site survey to all UK businesses.
"It's vital to focus on what works for you," says RDD spokesman Mike Jones. "For many businesses, budgets will be tight right now, so it's crucial to recognise what you don't need as well as the things that you do."
Businesses should be questioning their operations or load types and whether current trucks are fit for purpose, he suggests. "Equipment is very cheap when compared to the cost of an operator struggling with the wrong kit, so it pays to make sure they have the tools to get the job done, along with the appropriate skillset."