Konecranes will continue to use Linde products and the brand name for the next two years, after which it will decide if it wishes to cease manufacturing any product or to manufacture them at its own facilities under the Konecranes brand.
Due to cheaper labour costs this will probably be in line with Konecranes’ recent decision to move some (for the moment) product manufacturing from its factories in Sweden, Finland and Germany to other Group facilities and the Group´s extensive subcontracting network.
\”After this two years period, Linde Material Handling will sell Linde container handling trucks manufactured and supplied by Konecranes, as well as Konecranes container lift trucks,” Detlef Sieverdingbeck, head of corporate communication, told CM.
On-going negotiations continue with the 203 employees in manufacturing, engineering, sales, service and administration at the Linde heavy lift truck manufacturing facility in Merthyr Tydfil. Speculation that ‘the writing was on the wall’ for the Welsh factory had been rife in the industry since the KION Group announced that it had begun consultations earlier this month (February) regarding a potential reorganisation of the facility.
A feasibility study of the Merthyr Tydfil site had been under review for a number of years and despite significant investments and a number of steps being taken since 2007 to try and avoid the need for closure, the site continued to make significant losses.
The two groups have signed a long-term supply agreement and will collaborate to further increase the global competitiveness of their respective container handling truck activities. Although the value of the assets purchased has not been disclosed, the transaction is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2013.
According to a statement from Konecranes, the collaboration will improve economies of scale in R&D and manufacturing. The assets acquired include the respective product rights and access to Linde’s distribution network. This will enable both companies to continue to offer container handling trucks to their distribution channels.
“This agreement will significantly improve our worldwide container handling business and give us great possibilities to grow and support our customers even better. It will further increase operational performance and utilisation in our current facilities, enabling new opportunities in our cooperation with Linde Material Handling”, said Lars Fredin, vice president and head of business for lift trucks within Konecranes.
“We are happy to work together with Konecranes. This global collaboration with one of the leaders in this segment will significantly improve our container handling offerings to the customers of the Linde brand,” said Brian Butler, managing director of Linde Material Handling’s Heavy Trucks Division. “We will maintain the highest standards in quality, delivery, performance and value – all standards to which our customers are accustomed.”