Materials Handling Online -- MARCH 16, 2001
MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, USA -- Nacco Materials Handling Group (NMHG) has reported a net loss of US$1.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2000, which the company blamed on US$8.3 million in restructuring charges for phasing out its Danville assembly plant, announced in December.

NMHG's results were detailed in Nacco Industries Inc's annual report, released in February.

For the year to December 31, NMHG reported net income of US$21.3 million, down from US$23.7 million in 1999. NMHG suffered a US$2.4 million loss from flood damage at the Sumitomo-NMHG plant in Japan in 2000.

Revenues for the full year increased to US$1.8 billion, compared to $1.6 billion for 1999. Lift truck shipments jumped to 84,825 units, compared to 76,055 units in 1999.

For the final quarter, worldwide forklift shipments lifted to 22,232 units, compared to 20,266 units in the last quarter of 1999.

During the quarter, NMHG's revenue from its operations in the Americas increased to US$332 million, up from US$276.2 million on 1999. Revenues grew due to a 12% increase in unit shipments, and a shift to higher-priced forklifts and lift trucks, the company said. NMHG expects lift truck shipments in the Americas to remain strong in 2001, although down on 2000.

European revenue totalled US$101.8 million for the last quarter, compared to US$115.3 million in 1999. Unit shipments increased to 6,011, compared to 5,708 in the same period in 1999. "Revenues declined due to adverse currency rates," a NMHG statement said. Demand in Europe would remain high initially in 2001, but would moderate as the year progressed. Currency rates were likely to continue to negatively affect revenues and costs in 2001, the company said.

Revenues from Asia-Pacific operations were US$13.9 million last quarter, compared to US$16.8 million in 1999. Shipments dropped to 597 units, compared to 653 in 1999. Income was affected by a weak Australian dollar.

NMHG expects its Asia-Pacific business to grow as economic conditions improve. The weak Australian dollar could still affect the amount of trucks shipped to Australia this year.

Parent company Nacco Industries' fourth quarter profit nearly doubled compared to 1999, increasing to US$36 million from US$18.1 million.
BIRMINGHAM, Britain -- Dancing girls, fire-breathing circus performers and Elvis Presley were among the new marketing ideas road tested at this year's IMHX 2001, at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre from March 6-9.'s man on the ground said extravagance was the order of the day, with materials handling players spending up on flashy displays and marketing to attract potential customers to their stands. understands Still spent GBP 400,000 on its display of the futuristic new forklifts, complete with Barbarella dancers and a troupe of singers.

While Lansing Linde turned up the heat with a band of fire-breathing performers, Jungheinrich enjoyed a Happy Days revival at its stand, replicating a 1950s diner, complete with lycra-clad waitresses on roller-skates, and cameos by Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

Who could forget Boss's display, featuring a robotic, talking parrot in a model car?

There is no early indication of sales figures generated by the event, but attachments and battery suppliers seemed to do well, with their stands constantly surrounded by what seemed to be potential customers.

With armfuls of freebies from rival stands, and more than a few sizable headaches from Brummy's (Birmingham's) plentiful pubs and clubs, the more than 250 exhibitors from IMHX 2001 enjoyed the experience. No doubt IMHX 2003 is already being jotted into calendars.
Torrance, USA -- In an effort to strengthen its global materials handling operations, Japanese company Toyoda Automatic Loom Works (TAL) will acquire US-based Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIE) from Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc on April 1.

Established by inventor Sakachi Toyoda in 1926 as a textile company, TAL owns subsidiaries in the motor, forklift, materials handling and electronic componentry industries.

Forklift sales accounted for 95% of total materials handling sales in the half-year to September 30 2000, which reached JPN (Yen) 82.3 billion (US$761.8 million), a 13% increase over the same period 1999.

The acquisition will see the formation of Toyota Material Handling USA, which will allow TIE, currently a division of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc, to strengthen its business in supplying materials handling to US industries.

"The new organisation and a unified focus will help TIE be more responsive to our customers' needs," said TIE group vice president and general manager Shankar Basu, in a statement.

"This is a strong commitment to customers in North America and around the globe." Mr Basu will be appointed president and chief executive of the new company.

The move is part of Toyota's long-term strategy, and is related to TAL's acquisition of BT Industries, the Swedish manufacturer of Raymond and BT Prime-Mover lift truck brands, last June.

As reported by, TAL purchased BT Industries, acquiring 97.1% of shares and voting rights. As a result, Toyota is now the world's leading supplier of industrial equipment, surpassing Germany-based Linde and US-based Nacco Material Handling Group, which controls the Hyster and Yale brand names.

More than 85% of the Toyota forklifts sold in the US are assembled at the Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing plant in Columbus, Indiana.

Headquartered in Torrance, California, TIE has sold Toyota forklifts in the US for more than 30 years. TAL manufactures Toyota's industrial equipment from its headquarters in Kariya, Japan.

TIE's product range includes cushion and pneumatic tyre gas forklifts with capacities up to 17,500 pounds, and a line of battery electric trucks which includes narrow aisle trucks, three and four-wheel counterbalanced sit-down riders, stand-up riders, walkies and hand pallet trucks.

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SYDNEY, Australia -- Toyota has increased its market share to top the Australian forklift market for the 14th consecutive year.

According to Australian Industrial Truck Association figures, Toyota achieved 21.3% penetration into the combined internal combustion and battery electric forklift market down under but, in the internal combustion market alone, Nissan Forklifts Australia excelled with 16% greater sales.

Although Toyota nudged out its biggest rival Nissan for overall market share, the two companies enjoy almost double the market share of the next-placed manufacturer, Hyster.

MILTON, Canada -- Canadian National (CN) has announced plans to build a US$40 million intermodal terminal at Milton, west of Toronto, Canada.

Reachstacker and forklift manufacturers should have tenders at the ready, as CN has big plans for the Milton facility.

While initial details are sketchy, understands CN hopes to better its 2000 figures, which saw 1.12 million intermodal units moved last year, an increase of 13%.

CN's current intermodal terminal is located in Brampton, Ontario. The Milton terminal is scheduled to open late in 2002.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- South African parking inspectors have stepped up the fight against parking infringements by removing illegally parked cars with a forklift.

The Cape Argus newspaper said the forklift, a prototype from Israel, removes vehicles by lifting them onto its "back" and taking them to the local police traffic pound. Owners pay R320 and a parking fine to reclaim their cars.

More than 180 vehicles have been removed in the past three weeks, and senior traffic inspector Faldie Davids is beaming.

"Congestion has lessened considerably," he said. The department is considering commissioning up to five more forklifts in the short term.
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