Oshkosh Corp's JLG-brand access equipment segment expects soon to start shipping scissor lifts to the Asian market from its newly constructed Tianjin, China, factory.
Delivery of boom lifts will follow. Construction of the manufacturing facility began in November 2008.
"We are achieving a high percentage of local content during our first year of production," says Charles L Szews, Oshkosh president and chief operating officer. "The team is rapidly expanding distribution in the (Asian) region to support the factory."
Meanwhile, global sales of JLG access equipment to external Oshkosh customers increased 1.5% to USD252.9 million during the second fiscal quarter ended on March 31, compared with the 2009 second quarter.
"We have yet to see a significant change in the business climate for our traditional access equipment business," Szews says in an April 29 conference call. "Mature end markets in the US and Europe for our access equipment business remain weak, and we believe they are moving along the bottom."
Except for some access-equipment success in emerging markets, Oshkosh anticipates the soft conditions will remain until equipment utilisation and rental rates begin to turn for customers.
Szews thinks Oshkosh has seen the market lows in North America and Europe. "Earlier, we were producing less than we were selling," he says. "We are certainly not to production rates of 2008. Hopefully, that is not too far away."
In May, the Oshkosh defence segment intends to wind down co-located production at JLG's underutilised McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, facility. The work involves assembly, crew capsule production and retrofit activities for the US military's mine-resistant-ambush-protected all terrain vehicles (M-ATV). M-ATV armored fighting vehicles are designed to survive roadside bombs and ambushes. The quarter's intersegment M-ATV-related sales to the defence segment added USD737.2 million to business volume at the access equipment segment, apart from sales to external Oshkosh customers.
Oshkosh uses the JLG brand across the access equipment segment, making aerial work platforms and telehandlers for construction, agricultural, industrial, institutional and general maintenance applications. Oshkosh acquired JLG Industries Inc in December 2006 for USD3.1 billion. For the second quarter, the Oshkosh-based corporation had a profit of USD292.6 million on sales of USD2.86 billion. That compares to a loss of USD1.19 billion on sales of USD1.24 billion for the comparable 2009 period.