JLG starts production in China and considers Brazil strategy

31 August 2010

Wilson Jones, JLG president.

Wilson Jones, JLG president.

JLG Industries has supplied customers in Asia with the first electric scissors and telescopic booms made in the company's new factory in Tianjin, China. The company is now considering light manufacturing/assembly of aerial platforms in Brazil.

Wilson Jones, JLG's recently appointed president, told Access International magazine that the Tianjin facility south of Beijing delivered its first electric scissors in the second half of July and the first booms - 80 ft 800S models - last week.

Customers include Chinese rental company Chi Shing Group, Chinese Caterpillar dealer Lei Shing Hong and Hertz Equipment Rental Co (HERC), which has a rental business in Shanghai and several other Chinese cities.

"We're on our way in China", said Mr Jones, who told AI that the Tianjin facility was generating lot of excitement among dealers and customers in the Asia region.

Alongside Asia and China, Mr Jones said that South America - and Brazil in particular - was the other most promising market. "There may be a case for doing some light manufacturing/assembly in Brazil" said Mr Jones, "Everybody is looking at Brazil." Local production would overcome the problem of high import tariffs.

Mr Jones told AI that he expected to have some form of local production in Brazil within 18 months; "The question is whether we do it on our own or with a partner. That's what we are studying right now."

Explaining the company's 77% increase in access-related sales in its most recent quarter (to 30 June) - an increase that was far higher than its competitors - Mr Jones said it was the result of increased demand in North America and its developing markets; "We've seen a nice trickle of orders from big national rental companies in North America." He said Europe "is still at the bottom."

He said the investment from the big US renters was for fleet replacement rather than growth and said JLG was not expecting a steep rebound in market demand, but a more gradual recovery.

Mr Jones joined JLG from another Oshkosh company, Pierce, the fire fighting equipment manufacturer, where he increased market share by around 10% in just three years.

Can he aim to do the same at JLG? "I don't think that I want to say that", he told AI, "I'll just say that there are opportunities."

Read the full exclusive interview with Mr Jones in the September-October issue of Access International and Access Lift & Handlers (ALH).

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