Jungheinrich president John Sneddon.
The US subsidiary of Jungheinrich Group, Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp, will phase out the Multiton name and fully integrate the business into its core product lines.
Ending the Multiton brand name was the last strategic move of the January 1, 2005, merger between Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp and Multiton MIC Corp, a Jungheinrich statement said.
The phase-out was in progress at North American dealerships and was expected to be completed by October.
A Multiton dealer, who did not want to be named, said the change was a "big inconvenience" for his company.
"I have customers who call all pallet jacks Multitons, like the way we call all tissue brands Kleenex. It takes a long time to get that kind of recognition.
"We lose the name recognition. Our customers have probably associated us with the Multiton logo. We display 'For Multiton' on service vehicles and in yellow page ads." He said Jungheinrich would not compensate his company for costs involved in removing the Multiton name.
The dealer said he would no longer have the benefit of factory prices and direct access to parts for Multitons.
"We have to go to the newly designated Jungheinrich dealer. [We have] no factory technical advice on units we have sold for the last 15 years."
A competitor from a neighbouring US state, who had never sold Multiton, would be the new Jungheinrich dealer, he said.
Ray Schmidt, Jungheinrich's US class III product manager said ex-Multiton dealers could secure parts and service via Jungheinrich dealers from September 29.
"There are 60 exclusive Jungheinrich dealers that are current or soon-to-be dealers, with plans to add approximately 20 more in the future," he said.
Schmidt said no compensation was "required" for Multiton dealers as adequate notice to discontinue their programs under the Multiton banner had been given.
"In general since Multiton is an open line and is carried as an allied type of product for most of our dealers, most did not actively market our product."
All existing product warranties would be continued and the original Multiton models rebranded with the Jungheinrich name, model names and documentation. However, some products, like the M50 manual pallet jack and Mark series of machinery moving dollies, would be discontinued. The EME light duty electric pallet truck could also be discontinued, the Jungheinrich statement said.
"Jungheinrich's standard pallet truck model is the AM2200. It was determined that a second pallet truck model would be redundant ...The machinery moving dollies are not a Jungheinrich approved product. There is a limited market for these products.The profitability of the product no longer meets our minimum margin requirements," Schmidt said.
He said six products in Multiton's product line were already available in the Jungheinrich line. The company would add two of Multiton products to its line next year.
With the brand phase-out, Jungheinrich said end users would experience shorter lead times on product and parts delivery and better local, factory-trained service and support.
John Sneddon, Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp president, said: "This transition dovetails with Jungheinrich's corporate commitment to responsively meet the unique needs of the North American marketplace by expanding its product scope and service capabilities."
Multiton, established in 1951, produced hand pallet trucks and machine moving dollies in Port Washington, New York. It became part of the Jungheinrich Group, of Germany, in 1976. Its brand, product line and dealer organisation became an internal sales division of Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp, of Richmond, Virginia.
Through the partnership, Multiton expanded its product line to include high lift hand trucks, electric walkie pallet trucks and stackers, and developed innovations like transistorised controllers, a brake by-pass switch and AC-powered motors.