The KION Group - which owns the Linde, Baoli, Still, OM, Fenwick and Voltas forklift brands - has announced that Linde North America will operate under the name KION North America with effect from 1st January 2015.
Its strategic objective for the US market is to double market share over the next few years from the current 2% to between 4 and 5%.
Countering rumours that the Linde brand will also be lost in Europe, a Linde UK spokesperson confirmed to SHD Logistics that the change of name is applicable only to North America.
The KION Group operates a production plant in Summerville, South Carolina, with an annual capacity of more than 10,000 trucks, and has a nationwide sales and service network with around 100 dealers. Under the joint umbrella of KION North America, the brand companies Linde, and in future STILL, aim to serve the specific requirements of the US, Canadian and Mexican markets with a comprehensive, customised and complementary product portfolio.
“The continued development and growth of our organisation in North America is extremely important for the KION Group,” says Gordon Riske, Chief Executive Officer of the KION Group. “It is one of the key elements of our Strategy 2020, which we are pursuing with the aim of significantly extending our global reach. We want to move
away from being a niche provider and become a significant market player in North America under the KION name.”
Around a dozen new products are being specially developed for the North American market, and KION's medium-term objectives include establishing a fleet management and finance system and the possibilitly introducing an additional brand from within the KION portfolio.
The North American market, consisting of the USA (the world’s second-largest single market), Canada and Mexico, was one of the fastest-growing markets in the world in 2013, showing an 11% increase in unit sales. The first nine months of this year saw a rise of just under 6%, while the KION Group’s unit sales climbed by more than 10%.