Tanfield's plans

17 March 2008

Tanfield Group clearly believes that the combination of Snorkel and UpRight is a perfect one: Snorkel gives it the US manufacturing base that it has been seeking, and also some of the boom and scissor products that it needed to fill-out the depleted UpRight line. The merger means, for example, that UpRight has dropped plans to redevelop the old UpRight SB60 and SB80 telescopic booms.

Just as important, Snorkel gives it access to the massive US market, where the UpRight brand was damaged by its retreat from the market under the previous owners.

With two of the oldest access brands now under its wing, Tanfield has some dramatic plans. Darren Kell (pictured above), Tanfield's chief executive, says the combined group is currently manufacturing at a level that could see it produce 14,000 units a year. He wants that to rise to 20,000 units as quickly as possible.

He said the aim was to increase total group revenues $700 million next year, over $400 million of that being powered access. “That really does put us at the top table of powered access,” says Kell.

Tanfield isn't banking solely on its powered access business, as the revenue figures indicate. It is also one of the pioneers of zero emissions vehicles, with its Smith Electric Vehicles division. The success of this business in the UK has led Tanfield to undertake several trips to the US where it has been in discussions with large city municipalities about supplying zero emission trucks. The company is hoping to open a US manufacturing facility – possibly in California – and is hoping to build as many as 1,000 vehicles in North America next year.

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