News story

BT axes Prime-Mover

Thursday, 2 February 2006 ( #245 ) - MUSCATINE, IA, United States
The Muscatine plant will continue producing Toyota and Raymond forklifts.
The Muscatine plant will continue producing Toyota and Raymond forklifts.
BT Prime-Mover is removing the Prime-Mover brand from the market to meet increasing demand for other products.

Ilidio Alves, Prime-Mover general manager for sales & marketing, told MHEDA Connection that resources used for the Prime-Mover brand needed to be released to support growth of the corporation's other main brands.

"The decision results from the increase we expect from Toyota and Raymond, which will translate into increased volume for the Muscatine, Iowa, plant where Prime-Mover products were built," Alves said.

According to MHEDA Connection, the company will accept orders for Prime-Mover products through to July 20, 2006, and will continue to handle warranty issues during the transitional period.

The Muscatine Journal reported that changes announced to employees on January 19 included five layoffs related to elimination of the field sales & marketing departments. It cited human resources director Corbett Howard.

Howard said more layoffs could occur in the next six to eight months as the brand was phased out.

The Prime-Mover Company was founded in 1950 by the Home-O-Nize Company in Muscatine, Iowa (now HON Industries). The first product built was a power buggy acquired from Bell Aircraft. Prime-Mover diversified and expanded into materials handling in the 1960s.

In December 1988, BT Industries AB, of Sweden, bought Prime-Mover and the name changed to BT Prime-Mover Inc. In 1997, BT Industries AB acquired Raymond Corp, of Greene, New York, and BT Raymond was established.

In June 2000, Toyota Automatic Loom Works Ltd (now Toyota Industries Corporation) acquired BT Industries.
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