News story

Mecano back in German market

Wednesday, 6 August 2008 ( #372 ) - Murcia, Spain
After a rough start in the German market, Mecano Continental is set to reestablish itself with the introduction of a compact hydrostatic rough terrain forklift and a new base.

The Spanish company launched the new Micro-Range H13 and H16 forklifts at CeMAT in Hannover.

Rafael Wefers Verástegui, Mecano's market development manager, says the reception for these new machines was great.

"There was interest not only at an international level, but there was also big interest from German dealers and customers."

The Micro-Range is a compact hydrostatic-driven forklift that has similar benefits to a rough terrain machine but is smaller in dimension and turning radius.

This machine is intended for use in construction and agriculture. It can also be used as a semi-industrial forklift (uneven terrain) and for farming, landscaping, fruit and vegetable handling, open-air events, gardens, as well as for tradespeople.

The Micro-Range has a 1.3 to 1.6 ton capacity, is only 1,890 mm (6.2 feet) high and 2,470mm (8.1 feet) long.

Mecano originally entered the market in partnership with Fendt Fördertechnik as the sole distributor to sell the Mast Explorer.

According to Verástegui, the relationship was not as productive as the company had hoped.

"During the agreement with Fendt Fördertechnik, the sales numbers crashed," says Verástegui. "We asked how this could happen, and after a little bit of research we found out that it was not because of our product."

Mecano found the poor sales could be traced to numerous marketing errors because it did not apply the company's standard business concepts.

Verástegui says the type of forklift Mecano manufactures needed a local dealer and by signing an agreement with Fendt, they ignored processes Mecano had used successfully in over 45 countries.

"You have to introduce the product before you can sell it. You have to know the mentality of the customers and dealers," he says. "We thought to solve this problem, we would start with a unique distributor and it looked like Fendt was a good choice to start sales in Germany."

However, it did not pay off for Mecano.

"Our products needed a dealer that knew the needs of his clients and was not just a general distributor/importer," he says. "Rough Terrain Forklifts are specialist machines, not made for a mass-market."

Mecano has recently signed distribution agreements with 10 regional dealers: Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Oberfranken and Bayern.

Verástegui says Mecano will establish a base in Germany within the next two years
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