Crown Equipment will distribute Komatsu-built internal combustion forklifts through its 40 dealers in the US and Canada.
The forklifts will be marketed under the new Hamech brand and are based on Komatsu's current model range. Crown's 62 independent dealers in North America can choose to offer Hamech in their product lines.
Crown says in a statement that the branding agreement with Komatsu Forklift USA allows its dealers to offer internal combustion forklifts and a consistent level of aftermarket support. The distribution network will manage Hamech part orders, service support and warranty.
Jim Moran, Crown's senior vice president, says adding Hamech forklifts means the Ohio-based forklift manufacturer can meet a wide range of customer needs.
Eric Kobori, Komatsu Forklift's vice president, sales & marketing, says the Japanese manufacturer is pleased to be chosen as Crown's OEM partner.
"Komatsu Forklift USA is very pleased that, in such a competitive marketplace, Crown valued the quality and reliability of the Komatsu product."
Crown, of New Bremen, Ohio, has been manufacturing electric forklifts since the mid-1950s. It is the leading electric forklift brand in the US. According to dhf-intralogistik
's latest world ranking, Crown is the world's sixth largest forklift manufacturer.
In a November 2007 article, titled 'The BMW of Forklifts', Forbes
writer Emily Schmall reports that Crown, the "last privately owned forklift manufacturer in US", has seen sales double in the past five years. Its sales totalled USD1.7 billion in 2006.
Komatsu Forklift USA, of Covington, Georgia, will only distribute its own brands through its dealer network in North America. Its product range includes internal combustion engine and electric forklifts with capacities from 3,000lbs to 35,000lbs (1,361kg to 1,5876kg).