Linde is making "good headway" in its aim to establish a global presence, Georg Silbermann, Linde Material Handling's managing director, told journalists in France.
Silbermann was speaking at a preview of the company's new electric counterbalanced forklift, attended by 40 trade press journalists from across Europe.
He said Linde was targeting a bigger share of growth in Asian and North American markets. Managers of Linde's nine sales regions had been assigned larger responsibilities for their territories and Linde was taking steps to identify customer requirements for forklifts, based on market analysis feedback. The European market would set the tone for forklift design but Silbermann said "thinking local" would play a stronger role in its future product range.
At CeMAT, in Hannover, last October, Silbermann told Forkliftaction.com News Linde lacked fleet and brand position in North America. Linde's share in the US market was below five per cent.
"The US market is estimated at 200,000 units for 2006 ... we must meet US specifications and be present in the field." (Forkliftaction.com News #231
A new electric counterbalanced forklift, scheduled for a European launch within months, was touted as Linde's "most important truck release this year" at the press preview.
The E12 to E20 range, with load capacities from 1,200kg to 2,000kg, was 80 per cent re-engineered and redesigned, a Linde statement said.
"That has nothing to do with face lifting," Harald Wozniak, head of international marketing for Linde Material Handling, said. He would not say more, except that the forklift had a novel "energy management system".
The new forklift was 3-1/2 years in development. It was being promoted with the slogan 'Enter the E-zone', to emphasise it was "a new league in its product segment". Dealers in Germany would accept the first orders for the forklifts in September.