Haulotte outlines plans for Bil-Jax integration

04 August 2008

Alexandre Saubot, chief operation officer of Haulotte, (left) and Jeff Ott, president of Bil-Jax, at

Alexandre Saubot, chief operation officer of Haulotte, (left) and Jeff Ott, president of Bil-Jax, at the Bil-Jax facility in Archbold, Ohio.

Following the acquisition of Bil-Jax by Haulotte's US subidiary on 24 July, each of the product lines of the two companies will continue to wear its own brand.

Alexandre Saubot, Haulotte's chief operating officer told AI, "Brands are part of assets. The Bil-Jax brand has high value. Until we get to the point where that is no more, we will keep them both...There is no reason for either of the two brands to disappear in the near future."

Staying also is Bil-Jax's management. Mr Saubot said, "Our intention is to keep all of them. Bil-Jax has good, dedicated management; all of them will stay in place. Of course, they are the sellers and can decide to leave if they want, but my goal is to keep all of them on board."

Mr Saubot said, "There is very limited, almost no overlap of the two product lines. Bil-Jax has trailer and self-propelled models that Haulotte does not have. There is very limited overlap of the products or of the companies' commercial networks. It will be easy to bring it together." Bringing it together includes having "...Haulotte products in the Bil-Jax system as early as possible, certainly before the end of the year."

Ten percent of Bil-Jax's US$80 million in sales are exports, and Mr Saubot said, "Part of the opportunity is to represent the Bil-Jax product line worldwide. The way to attack that will be determined...We will use all existing resources to the best of our abilities, and how to do that is under review."

Bil-Jax began business sixty years ago as a scaffolding manufacturer, and although "...the scaffolding market is a bit different and has a different installed base, different users, in international sales Bil-Jax's scaffolding will be of sure interest," said Mr Saubot.

"We will optimize both [distribution] networks to maximize opportunities in the markets. We will use both distribution systems for all products, but we need a detailed evaluation," he said.

Another attraction of the purchase was Bil-Jax's US manufacturing base. Mr Saubot said, "My philosophy is that there is always spare capacity in a manufacturing system. We always try to find a better way. For sure we can manufacture Haulotte products in the Bil-Jax system. How to get there is now under review within the team."

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