(L-R) in red shirts: Stuart Walker, Bruno Fille, Francois F Piffard, Henry L Gallard & Emmanuel Amandjules
The newest Manitou subsidiary, in Sydney, Australia, will support its French parent company with a projected 5,000 training hours set to take place in 2006.
At an opening ceremony for Manitou Australia, at its Alexandria office, about 10 minutes' drive from Sydney Airport, the company's new head, Stuart Walker, said the company would be an interface between Manitou Group and its Australian dealer network.
Walker, a former product manager for Manitou dealer NTP Forklifts, said he was excited about his new job.
"I've been involved with Manitou for 9-1/2 years through a close association with NTP Forklifts. As it's a family company, Manitou is very people orientated and this is an opportunity to grow with a very dynamic company."
Manitou Group directors Bruno Fille, Francois F Piffard and Henri L Gallard were at the ceremony on Tuesday.
Fille told a press conference the past five years had seen enormous growth for Manitou.
"Net sales increased five times, net profit 12 times and the value of the company 22 times. We are ranked among the top 100 companies in the French market."
About 15 staff will be based in the Sydney office, which will be a commercial and technical training centre. Manitou dealers will receive the latest knowledge on Manitou's product range and technicians will come to the workstation to work on machines.
The Sydney office is Manitou's 17th subsidiary. The Australian market constituted two per cent of Manitou's consolidated net sales for 2005. Fille said the group's goal was to increase Australian sales by 25 per cent a year.
Manitou forklifts and telehandlers are distributed through 38 independent dealers in Australia.
The opening of Manitou Australia in Alexandria, Sydney.
The workstation where technicians will be trained.