2005: A year in review

Local Feature Article
- 22 Dec 2005 ( #240 )
22 min read
In this special feature, Forkliftaction.com News invited some of the world's top forklift manufacturers to share with our readers what 2005 has meant for their businesses. Christine Liew reports on the business activities of:

Linde, Jungheinrich, Kalmar, Yale, Hyster, Mitsubishi, Cat Lift Trucks, Crown and Toyota.




TOYOTA

Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) has been named the world leader in materials handling for the fourth consecutive year by German publication Logistik Journal. Toyota, which operates in more than 170 countries enjoyed sales of more than 100,000 units and an annual turnover of around JPY580 billion (USD4.94 billion) from April 2004 to March 2005. The materials handling business is just one of five TICO business segments (automobile, materials handling equipment, textile machinery, logistics and others).

Toyota's success was recognised yet again when Fortune magazine named TICO as the world's second most admired company in the category dedicated to manufacturers and suppliers of motor vehicle parts. The first most admired company in that category was Lear, with a score of 7.68 compared to 7.33 for TICO. The recognition by Fortune was a first for TICO.

Products for 2005

Fuel cell forklift
Having pioneered the world's first active safety system for forklifts, the system of active stability (SAS), on its 7 Series forklifts, Toyota is known to invest heavily in research & development (R&D). Investment figures for Toyota's R&D for 2005 are not yet known but, in 2004, TICO's materials handling segment's R&D investment was JPY10.9 billion (USD928 million).

A Toyota spokesperson said the company's current R&D focus was on environmental technology, like fuel cell, downsizing, and energy saving. It was no surprise that Toyota showcased the world's first fuel cell forklift at CeMAT 2005 in Hannover, Germany, in October. The forklift used hydrogen as its main power source and generated no carbon dioxide emissions (Forkliftaction.com News #230).

On Toyota's plans for the fuel cell forklift, a spokesperson said:

"Its future development is as much an issue for governments and industry in general, as it is for manufacturers. Questions on whether governments will support the infrastructure cost and whether there will be policies to support 'green' companies using this technology are all critical. Some of the questions around the infrastructure are still to be answered.
In the meantime, Toyota is planning to test the system with customers around the world and will gather further research on the technology."

7FBEST
Made in Europe, for Europe, the Toyota Triago was launched this year. It is available in one ton, 1.25 ton and 1.5 ton lifting capacities, suited for tight spaces in factories, warehouses and shops.

There were rumours Toyota would launch its 8 Series at CeMAT 2005. Judging from the visitor response, the fuel cell forklift stole the show and no 8 Series was launched. Toyota would not comment on the rumour and has not announced a date for a new series launch.

Company affairs

This year, Toyota achieved several objectives in line with its environmental action plan. It reached its target of a 95 per cent reduction in indirect landfill waste, reduced total water consumption across six plants to 2,605m and reduced its energy costs by JPY190 million (USD1.6 million). Reduced water consumption and wastewater processing costs saw Toyota's water expenses bill shrink by JPY60 million (USD511,073).

Finances

As of October 28, TICO's turnover stood at JPY1.5 trillion (USD12.8 billion) and annual turnover for fiscal 2005 is estimated to increase 20.8 per cent from fiscal 2004. Net profits to October 28 were JPY45 billion (USD383 million), a 3.8 per cent jump. TICO's materials handling business showed an annual turnover of JPY580 billion (USD4.94 billion), a 15.1 per cent increase. Capital investment for the year was JPY120 billion (USD1.02 billion), with investment for materials handling at JPY12 billion (USD102 million).

LINDE

Established in 1904, leading European forklift manufacturer Linde Material Handling, part of Linde AG, has a decentralised organisational structure. The group's marketing and service network is linked to sales companies in 18 countries. Worldwide manufacturing companies that produce Linde forklifts make up the division headquarters company. They are Linde AG Material Handling Division at Aschaffenburg, Germany; Fenwick-Linde, France; two Lansing Linde companies in the UK; Linde-Xiamen, China; and Linde Lift Truck in USA. In 2003, the Linde Group recorded sales of EUR 8.992 billion (USD10.624 billion) and employed 46,662 people around the world.

Products for 2005

Hydrostatic drive
This year Linde introduced hydrostatic drives to its heavy diesel forklifts with 10,000kg to 18,000kg lift capacities. The new Linde H100 to H180 forklifts, manufactured at the Merthy Tydfil plant, in Wales, meant the technology was now employed in Linde's range of IC forklifts with capacities from 1,200kg to 18,000kg. The forklifts were introduced to the market at CeMAT 2005.

N20
Also at CeMAT, Linde launched the N20 line consisting of four new electric order pickers.
The twin grip handlebars on Linde's new N20 line.
The twin grip handlebars on Linde's new N20 line.
Manufactured at Linde-Fenwick's Châtellerault plant, in France, the N20/N24, N20L and N20Li's major highlight was the twin-grip handlebars. The forklifts are powered by a 3kW motor and that output takes the truck to its top speed (12km/hr loaded/unloaded) within 5 metres.

The X range
The R14-R17X reach trucks with load capacities from 1,400kg to 1,799kg were produced at the Linde Material Handling (UK) plant in Basingstoke. The new concept saw the forklifts' batteries positioned under the operator's seat and the mast permanently fixed to the chassis. The battery's new position opened up considerable latitude in the design of the truck and freed space in the cab compartment (Forkliftaction.com News #235).

Company Affairs

In the middle of 2005, the EuroTransportMedia publishing company in Stuttgart, Germany, recognised Linde Material Handling as "Best Brand 2005" in the forklift category after 10,000 readers cast their votes for 14 different categories in three German trade magazines. This year was the first time the "Best Brand" award was extended to the commercial vehicle market.

Around the same time, Linde Material Handling gradually introduced a new corporate identity. The Linde logo now consists of the words Linde in white, against a vermillion red background. A graphic module of "two moving blocks" symbolising in abstract form, material handling, is also seen on the background. The new logo distinguishes Linde Material Handling from Linde Group's other business segment, Gas and Engineering.

Speculation was rife around August that British gas manufacturer was in merger talks with Linde. Linde shares even started climbing amidst speculation the German industrial gases and forklift group could be bought by rivals. Linde chief executive Wolfgang Reitzle has strongly debunked the rumours (Forkliftaction.com News #224).

In September, Linde-Xiamen Forklift Truck Co Ltd changed its name to Linde (China) Forklift Truck Corp Ltd, as part of Linde Group's strategy to expand its reach in the Chinese market. Simultaneously, the old logo with the word Linde in blue was replaced by the new logo (Forkliftaction.com News #228).

Also in that month, Brian Butler, former Clark Material Handling Company president & CEO joined Linde as president of Linde Material Handling- North America. He took over from Mitch Milovich who retired after being president of the South Carolina-based company since 1991 (Forkliftaction.com News #225).

During the third quarter, the group invested EUR12.5 million (USD15.3 million) to expand forklift and warehouse equipment component production at its Ballenstedt site, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The site will produce hydraulic control valves for the group's three brands - Linde, Still and Om Pimespo (Forkliftaction.com News #226).

In an exclusive interview with Forkliftaction.com at CeMAT 2005, Linde Material Handling managing director Georg Silbermann said the company aimed to grow its market share in USA through refining its product more to meet the North American customer's needs (Forkliftaction.com News #231).

Finances

From January to September 2005, forklift sales increased 5.5 per cent to EUR2,545 million (USD3,007 million) (2004: EUR2,413 million/USD2,851 million). Incoming orders increased 7.7 per cent to EUR2,724 million (USD3,218 million) (2004:EUR2,529 million/USD2,988 million). Operating profit showed a 14.7 percent increase to EUR125 million (USD148 million) (2004: EUR109 million/USD129 million).

Worker agreements concluded during the third quarter for Linde and Still German sites (Forkliftaction.com News #220), (Forkliftaction.com News #225) have created much of the conditions conducive to "sustainable increases in flexibility and cost efficiency" at those sites, Linde said.

Linde said the agreements would have gradual impact and would generate total annual cost savings in the high double-digit millions. They will contribute to Linde achieving its target return on capital of 16 per cent in 2007.

JUNGHEINRICH

Founded in 1953, Jungheinrich AG, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, has been ranked the world's third forklift manufacturer. In 2004, the company achieved net sales of EUR1.5 billion (USD1.8 billion) and employed around 9,000 people worldwide, with nearly half working in Germany. Its direct sales network comprises 18 German sites and it has its own sales and service companies in 29 countries, ranging from Norway to Spain and USA to Singapore. The group's production plants are in Norderstedt, Moosburg and Lüneburg in Germany.

Products in 2005

Rotating cab
Early 2005, Jungheinrich introduced the world's first rotating cab. The EFGD30 truck is different from its predecessor, the EFG430, because its cab can be rotated 30 degrees to the left and 180 degrees to the right by using a multi-pilot. The electric counterbalanced forklift has a capacity of 3,000kg and is ideal for carrying large loads that obstruct the forward view (Forkliftaction.com News #195).

ERE120
The new pedestrian pallet truck, the ERE120 was introduced this year. It is equipped with the patented "ShockProtect", which absorbs shocks in a similar way to a car shock absorber. Jungheinrich says the ERE120 consumes as much energy as comparable trucks in the small range but is able to keep up with larger truck types on short and medium distances.

New generation
At CeMAT, Jungheinrich presented a new generation of reach trucks, the ETV range. The electric reach trucks have a lift capacity of up to 1,600kg and lift height of up to 7,700mm. Despite the trucks' narrow widths of 1,120mm and 1,270mm respectively, the ETV110/112 and ETV114/116 can pick up Euro pallets lengthways between their support arms.

"Concept Truck"
Another standout product introduction at CeMAT was Jungheinrich's "Concept '05" truck featuring the patent-pending JetPilot. JetPilot is a multifunctional steering wheel for counterbalanced forklifts. All primary functions of the truck are integrated in the steering wheel and so previously laterally arranged operating levers for the masts and forks are gone. Integration of all operating levers in the steering wheel means more operator comfort and more storage space and legroom in the cab. Unlike hydraulic steering currently used in counterbalanced forklifts, the "Concept truck" has electro-hydraulic steering. RFID technology is also featured in the truck, used for pallet and storage position recognition.

Company affairs

Matthias Fischer left Jungheinrich after having
Matthias Fischer left Jungheinrich after having "differences in opinion on management issues".
Around 400 Jungheinrich employees are moving next year, with an announcement made in mid 2005 that a new headquarters in Hamburg's Hafencity district was being built. The head office and various sales offices in Hamburg will be grouped into one location. Six architectural firms were invited to participate in a contest to design the building, which will be located in Sandtor Park, at the entrance to the Sandtor Port. B&E Baumschlager-Eberle GmbH of Lochau, Austria, came up with the winning concept. Construction begins in 2006 and occupancy is scheduled for 2007.

In May, Jungheinrich named managing director John Sneddon as its new president, replacing Dirk von Holt (Forkliftaction.com News #210). Von Holt has since joined Systems Material Handling Co as vice president of sales & marketing. In another move, Matthias Fischer, in charge of marketing and sales on Jungheinrich's board of management, left the company later in the year, due to "differences in opinion on management issues" (Forkliftaction.com News #229)

Plans were announced in June to construct a new, 5,900 square metre testing and development centre at the Nordestedt plant. It was due to be competed this month and operations were planned to start in early 2006. Around 60 employees are moving to the centre that will house the offices of engineers charged with creating prototypes and the setting up experiments. Around EUR40 million (USD47.2 million) was invested to increase the site's production output and safeguard the site (Forkliftaction.com News #216).

The group is expanding in the US market, with forklifts developed specifically for the market this year. Jungheinrich is represented in the US by its sales subsidiary in Richmond, Virginia. It has sales branches in Chicago and Cincinnati. American safety and ergonomic requirements differ from European requirements so Jungheinrich had to conduct considerable research.

Jungheinrich trucks that managed to cross over to the US were the ECR 327/336 electric pedestrian pallet truck manufactured in Nordestedt, and the EKS 314, a vertical order picker from the Moosburg factory. The entirely new ECR327/336 was a completely new truck in that segment for the US market.

The group has announced plans for establishing an assembly plant in Qingpu, China. About 50 people will be employed to assemble battery-powered pedestrian-controlled pallet trucks. The finished trucks will be supplied to Jungheinrich's Chinese sales organisation, the Asian market and other non-European markets. Production is expected to begin 2006 (Forkliftaction.com News #233).

Finances

Net sales for Jungheinrich increased 6.9 per cent to EUR1,187 million (USD1,402 million) for January to September 2005. Net forklift sales in Germany totalled EUR329 million while net forklift sales overseas accounted for EUR858 million (USD1,013 million). The group's net income increased 29.7 per cent to EUR39.7 million (USD46.9 million) (2004:EUR30.6 million/USD36.2 million).

YALE

Yale Materials Handling Corp (YMHC) is a global organisation that is a part of the NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG). NMHG is America's largest forklift producer with USD1.5 billion in revenues. Forklifts are manufactured in the US, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland. Retail of forklifts and replacement parts are sold, supported and serviced through authorised dealers. Yale has more than 220 dealers worldwide including North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. There are more than 359 dealer locations in more than 62 countries. Each year, more than USD43 million is invested in R&D and YMHC employs 370 research, development and manufacturing engineers.

Products for 2005

Veracitor VX
Early this year, Yale Materials Handling Corp (YMHC) unveiled the Veracitor VX line of forklifts at ProMat 2005 in Chicago. The Veracitor VX line was five years in the making with Yale investing one million man hours for testing and USD140 million to engineer and develop the forklifts.

In the late 1990s, the company's executives and engineers committed to inventing a forklift that would offer modular manufacturing for easy customisation to individual customer's applications. The Berea, Kentucky, plant was redesigned with new equipment and technology to produce the new product line. Through a new manufacturing process, customer-requested features are incorporated into the forklift as it is manufactured to create a final product that meets the customer's needs. The first forklift produced with the new manufacturing process was the Veracitor GC-VX forklift, available with three engine selections - the GM 2.4L and Mazda 2.2L and 2.0L.

MPW-050-W
In December, YMHC introduced the MPW-050-W walkie truck to its walkie and pallet line, complete with Yale's Heavy Corrosion/Wash Down Package that offers an environmentally friendly option for general warehousing and refrigerated food applications.

Finances

NMHG financial results for 2005 were not available at the time of publication.

HYSTER

Hyster Company, of Greenville, North Carolina, USA is part of NACCO Materials Handling Group Inc (NMHG). The forklifts and component parts are made in 10 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, the UK and Asia.

Products for 2005

Fortis S30-40FTS and Fortis H30-40FTS
Hyster released the Fortis S30-40FTS line of sit-down counterbalanced IC, cushion tyre forklifts with capacities of 3,000lbs (1,361kg) to 4,000lbs (1,814kg). Hyster claims the trucks manufactured at its Berea, Kentucky plant offer the advantage of lower operation costs. That comes from matching the right engine with the proper transmission for specific application needs and the engine-transmission configurations create efficient powertrains that offer good fuel efficiency and productivity (Forkliftaction.com News #193)

Also produced at Berea, the Fortis H30-40FTS was added to the Fortis line of forklifts. The counterbalanced IC forklifts are similar to the S30-40FTS line but have pneumatic tyres.

Freighter Special
The Hyster W40Z Freighter Special, manufactured in Greenville, North Carolina, is a new option on the Hyster W40Z Series walkie motorised line. The 4,000lb (1,814kg) capacity forklift's enhancements include a shorter fork tip length and a redesigned bumper. It provides a tighter right angle turn for easier stacking and equal aisle placement.

Galvanized
Hyster launched the W50Z Galvanized, a 5000lb (2,268kg) low lift pallet truck in the W50Z series motorised walkie line this year. It is ideal for applications where it is exposed to corrosive agents or requires frequent wash downs.

Company affairs

On November 21, Paul Laroia was appointed Hyster President. Hyster says more information will be released in January.

Chuck Leone, who was appointed sales director on October 3, is now director of dealer development. His profile will be released in January 2006.

Finances

NMHG financial results for 2005 were not available at the time of publication.

Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America

In 1992, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Mitsubishi Corp and Caterpillar Industrial Inc decided to pool their technological and financial resources. In Houston, Texas, they set up Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Association (MCFA). The production locations for Mitsubishi and Caterpillar forklifts are Sagamihara, Japan (MCFS); Almere, the Netherlands (MCFE); and Houston, Texas; United States (MCFA). (Information from 100 Years Forklift Trucks; Publisher: Thermote and Vanhalst)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries forecast a JPY8 billion (USD68.1 million) income for the machinery and steel structures segment (where forklifts fall under), orders totalling JPY450 billion (USD3.83 billion) and net sales worth JPY 520 billion (USD3.58 billion) for FY2005 ending March 31, 2006.

MITSUBISHI Forklift Trucks
Products for 2005

Electric walkies
During the third quarter of 2005, Mitsubishi launched a line of electric walkies to replace the PMW20 and PMW30. The PMW15N is suitable as a transition from a manual hand pallet truck. It has a compact size with a head length of 14.9 inches (379mm), making it slightly larger than a manual hand pallet truck.

The PMW23N has a head length of 21.7 inches (550mm) and can easily perform right-angle stacking, pinwheeling and operate in small areas. The PMW30N has a 6,000lb (2,722kg) capacity and the shortest head length in its class. The electric walkies are able to be operated with the handles in the vertical position hence having optimum turning capacity in tight spaces.

FB16NT-FB20NT
During the fourth quarter, Mitsubishi Forklifts released the first generation of the FB16NT-FB20NT alternating current (AC) trucks to replace the FB16KT-FB20KT. These three-wheel electric counterbalanced trucks are available in 3,000lbs (1,361kg), 3,500lbs (1,588kg) and 4,000lbs (1,814kg) load capacities.

Mitsubishi's R&D team designed an AC Controller that implements the latest MOSFET and heat dissipation technology that reduces battery consumption. Mitsubishi conducted tests showed an 8 per cent improvement on battery consumption over its DC powered predecessor. Tests have also revealed a 13 per cent increase in travel speeds and a 10 per cent increase in lift speeds over its predecessor.

FBC15N-FBC30LN
The first generation FBC15N-FBC30LN AC trucks introduced in the fourth quarter are four-wheel electric counterbalanced, cushion tyre replacing the FBC15K-FBC30K trucks. Test results for these trucks revealed a 12 per cent improvement in battery consumption over its DC powered predecessor. Tests also showed a 40 per cent increase in average travel speeds and an 11 per cent increase in lift speeds over their predecessor.

Company affairs

There were no specific management changes or office openings this year, Mitsubishi said.

Finances

Financial results for Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks for 2005 were not available at the time of publication.

CAT LIFT Trucks
Products for 2005

Electric walkies
In the third quarter of 2005, Cat Lift Trucks introduced a new line of electric walkies featuring AC drive motors to replace the NPP40 and NPP60. It was a complete redesign of Cat's electric walkie line. There are three models with 3,000lb (1,361kg), 4,500lb (2,041kg) and 6,000lb (2,722kg) load capacities. Each model offers the tightest turning radius in its class, the company says.

E3000-E6500
During the fourth quarter this year, Cat Lift Trucks launched the E3000-E6500 series of four-wheel electric forklifts with load capacities from 3,000lbs (1,361kg) to 6,500lbs (2,948kg) to replace the ECK15K-ECK30K. Tests show a 12 per cent improvement in battery consumption from its DC powered predecessor. Cat Lift Trucks also launched the ET3000-ET4000 series of three-wheel electric forklifts with 3,000lb (1,361kg), 3,500lb (1,588kg) and 4,000lb (1,814kg) load capacities to replace the EP16KT-EP18KT.

Company affairs

Cat opened a Customer Focus Area within its Houston manufacturing facility this year. At the 24 foot (7.32 metre) by 24 foot (7.32 metre) area, the company's auditors randomly select Cat forklifts as they roll off the assembly line for inspection. The Customer Focus Area was intentionally positioned within clear view of the production line to let employees know the importance of quality in manufacturing.

Finances

Financial results for Cat Lift Trucks for 2005 are not available at time of publication.

CROWN

Crown Equipment Corporation, headquartered at New Bremen, Ohio, USA, is a family-owned, privately held company, started by the Dicke brothers in 1945. The company, which manufactures a complete line of electric forklifts, has won several awards for its design and engineering standards. In 1972, it introduced the RC series counterbalance forklift for the standing operators, with an innovative "side stance" design. The design won an Industrial Design Society of America award. Crown serves the European, Middle Eastern, African and Indian markets through its headquarters in Munich, Germany, and the Asia Pacific through its Sydney, Australia office.

Products for 2005

Stockpicker
The SP 3400 Series was introduced this year, setting a new standard for Crown stockpickers. The forklifts have frames and masts designed for added stability when working at heights. Crown boasts it is the fastest performer in its class and has added comfort and smoother operation.

TSP 6000
Crown launched the TSP 6000 Series to accommodate warehouses that wanted to maximise space and increase capacity. The new trucks address very narrow aisle applications by incorporating a three-point system that allows turning in intersecting narrow aisles. Crown claims the trucks have the most stable, heavy-duty masts in the industry.

FleetSTATS
Crown developed a comprehensive fleet service program, FleetSTATS, this year. It is available to companies using Crown's integrity parts system and offers reports focused on giving companies more control over fleet service.

Company affairs

This year, Crown announced plans to build a manufacturing facility in Suzhou New District, near Shanghai, China (Forkliftaction.com News #210).

Its New Bremen, Ohio manufacturing facilities also got a boost. With an additional 90,000 square feet (8361 square metre), Crown said the improved capacity provided opportunities for the company to grow in engineering development and add an additional electronics laboratory.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities recognised Crown with an award for its waste minimisation efforts. The award was for Crown's chemical reduction and elimination of toxic chemicals in products and manufacturing processes.

Crown received its second red dot design award by the Design Zentrum Nordheirn Westfalen for the WF 3000 Series stacker. A few months later, the SX 3000 Series stacker was awarded the good design award by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design (Forkliftaction.com News #216)

Finances

Crown does not disclose financial data as it is a private company.

KALMAR

Kalmar Industries is part of Cargotec Corp, a leading provider of cargo handling solutions for ships, ports, terminals and distribution. In 2004, Kalmar was acquired by Finnish company Kone and incorporated under Cargotec.

The Swedish-based company's customers include ports and terminals, heavy industry and distribution and logistics. Ports and terminals account for about two thirds of Kalmar's sales. Its manufacturing plants are in Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Malaysia, China and the USA, and it has activities in more than 140 countries through more than 20 sales companies and a wide dealer network.

Products for 2005

The E-One
Early this year, Kalmar introduced the first all-electric rubber-tyred-gantry crane (RTG), the E-One. Kalmar claimed the E-One offered fuel savings of up to 30 per cent. Based on new intelligence in RTG movements, the crane speeds are adjusted according to the load under the spreader. Conventional RTGs' hydraulics run constantly whereas in the E-One, electrical power is used only when needed (Forkliftaction.com News #192)

Log Stacker
In May, Kalmar introduced a new generation of log stacker, the RTD1623, to replace the RTD1523, which had been on the market since the early 1990s. Compared to its predecessor, the new machine offered greater capacity, increased stability and better manoeuvrability despite a longer wheel base (Forkliftaction.com News #207)

Double Pedal
Kalmar's new double pedal to combat operator leg and foot strain.
Kalmar's new double pedal to combat operator leg and foot strain.
In response to a customer's need, Kalmar developed a patent-pending double pedal for its hydrostatically powered forklift range. More than 30 drivers at the Stora Enso newsprint mill in Hylte, who had complained of leg and foot strain, trialled the double pedal prototype in November 2004. The double pedal involved a vertically adjustable support plate and reduced pedal pressure to make the truck react. When the right pedal was depressed, the left pedal would raise a few millimetres above its neutral position and act as a support for the resting foot. The resting pedal is activated when the driver depresses it, making the opposite pedal the foot support.

North American toplifts
Also responding to demand, Kalmar designed the DCF series of toplifts specifically for the North American market. The series comes in lifting capacities of 36 tonnes, 41 tonnes or 45 tonnes. The machine operates at full capacity when lifting a 9 foot 6 inch container to the five-high position (Forkliftaction.com News #237)

Company affairs

Early this year, Kalmar acquired the Dutch companies Peinemann Kalmar CV and Peinemann Kalmar Rental BV from parent organisation, the Peinemann Group. The acquisition was seen to boost Kalmar's direct involvement in sales and services in major ports and container terminals (Forkliftaction.com News #2009) .

In July, Kalmar's manufacturing plant in Ottawa, Kansas, USA, took on a new initiative - assembling Kalmar forklifts for distribution in North America. Some of the advantages of the new forklift assembly operation include shortened build times by up to 60 days and greater parts availability. Kalmar's 27 North American dealers were pleased to have quicker access to the forklifts (Forkliftaction.com News #218)

Towards the end of the year, Kalmar acquired 51 per cent of Indlift, a Kalmar agent since 2000, and established its own Indian subsidiary. Indlift employs 18 staff and has operations in Mumbai, Khandla, New Delhi, Vizag and Bangalore. This was another of the company's strategies to boost direct involvement in its major markets (Forkliftaction.com News #234)

Finances

Sales for Kalmar increased from EUR602.1 million (USD711 million) in 2004 to EUR859.0 million (USD1,014 million) from January to September 2005. Its operating income increased from EUR47.6 million (USD56.2 million) to EUR69.8 million (USD82.4 million). From January to September 2005, Kalmar received EUR872.6 million (USD1,031 million) of orders, compared to EUR825.9 million (USD976 million) for the corresponding period in 2004.


Click here to view the year 2005 in pictures.
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