Manitou shifts RT forklift production to US

By Murray Pollok01 June 2012

Dan Miller, president of Manitou's Compact Equipment division

Dan Miller, president of Manitou's Compact Equipment division

Manitou is shifting all production of its range of rough terrain forklifts to its Gehl facility in Waco, Texas, US. Production of these machines was previously shared between the US and France, but will now take place entirely in the US.

Dan Miller, president of Manitou's Compact Equipment division, which includes both the Gehl and Mustang businesses, told Access Lift & Handlers (ALH) that he could see annual volumes of around 700 units initially, rising to between 1000 and 2000 per year.

Rental fleet investment in North America is leading to increased demand for Compact Equipment products, said Mr Miller, speaking to ALH at Manitou's ‘Festival' customer and dealer event in Spain. Manitou North America could have a 30% increase in sales this year after a 50% rise last year; "Right now, with telehandlers, I can't build enough."

Meanwhile, the first container load of Japanese-built Yanmar compact excavators is soon to arrive in the US following the North American sales alliance agreed between Manitou and Yanmar earlier this year.

The Yanmar excavators will be sold by Manitou under the Gehl and Mustang brands in North America. Previously, Manitou/Gehl sold Wacker Neuson excavators in North America.

The Yanmar alliance is a two-way arrangement, with the first Gehl-built skid steers and compact tracked loaders also now on their way to Yanmar for sale in North America under the Yanmar brand, said Mr Miller.

"Orders [for the excavators] will start flowing in June and we'll be up to full flow by the fourth quarter", he told ALH.

Although the partnership covers only North America, Mr Miller said a possible next step could see the alliance extended to Latin America.

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