Bobcat telehandler plant turns 50
By Sarah Ann McCay22 July 2013
Bobcat has just celebrated the 50th anniversary of its teklehandler manufacturing plant at Pontchateau, in Loire-Atlantique, France.
Attended by 250 people, including local dignatories and former employees of the plant, the celebrations included the unveiling of a commemorative plate, produced by one of the workers in the factory, and now adorning the front wall of the plant.
Visitors were treated to a full day programme, which included a factory tour, speeches from plant management, an exhibition of old Sambron and new Bobcat machines, demonstrations and the chance to try out the new machines for themselves.
The plant was opened in the early 20th century, when local locksmith Joseph Sambron took over his father’s workshop and turned to producing agricultural machines. Just a few years later, in 1920, Joseph was running a 3000 m² factory, where around 100 employees produced flower mills and cider presses.
When Joseph retired, his son, Maurice, stepped into his father’s shoes. Maurice entered the material handling business in 1953.
Today, Pontchateau manufactures 12 different telescopic handler models, including the new generation TL360 and TL470 models launched in 2011, followed by the new high-flow 130 HP TL470HF model in 2012.