Kalmar has revealed plans to consolidate its assembly operations in Europe in a move it says will "improve operational efficiency and ensure long-term competitiveness in the global markets".
The company - part of Cargotec - will transfer the production of its heavy fork lift trucks from Sweden to Poland, whilst at the same time investing in a state-of-the-art technology centre in Ljungby, Sweden.
Kalmar says the new Business, Innovation and Technology Centre in Ljungby would focus on strengthening its expertise in digital business development, research and development, prototype production and testing of mobile equipment. Additionally, Kalmar is planning to launch a digital business development programme in collaboration with Linneaus University in Southern Sweden.
According to the plans, the fork lift truck production that is currently located in Lidhult, Sweden would be transferred to Kalmar's assembly operations in Stargard, Poland. The transfer would take approximately two years and lead to the gradual closing of the operations in Lidhult.
To implement the plans, Kalmar has begun negotiations with the labour unions. Approximately 190 employees in Sweden would be affected by the change, and Kalmar says it will provide them support in competence development and assistance in finding new job opportunities.
"We recognise that this is a difficult time for people in Lidhult," said Dan Pettersson, Senior Vice President, Mobile Equipment, Kalmar. "However, we must make sure that we continue to sustain our global leadership position also in the future.
"We are expecting to gain synergies and strengthen Kalmar's competitiveness in the global markets with a more cost competitive production setup. At the same time, we will invest in the future by boosting our technological competences to speed up our digital journey.
"We have a strong heritage in Småland, Sweden. The new Business, Innovation and Technology Centre would create new business and job opportunities especially in the area of digitalisation.
"In Poland, our plan is to expand the operations at Stargard which would create 200 new jobs in the region."
Kalmar employs currently approximately 350 people in Lidhult and Ljungby, Sweden, and approximately 320 people in Poland.