Kalmar has decided to go ahead with the transfer of its production of forklift trucks from Sweden to Poland following the completion of employee cooperation negotiations with labour unions in the Swedish city of Lidhult.
As a result of the negotiations, the company will gradually close the operations in Lidhult, which will lead to 160 permanent job losses, as well as invest in new premises in Sweden and transform the operations in Southern Sweden into a Business, Innovation and Technology Centre in Ljungby.
The production of forklift trucks will be transferred to Kalmar’s assembly operations in Stargard, Poland, starting from the fourth quarter of 2016, with the transfer expected to be finalise by the end of 2017.
The planned measures aim to improve the equipment manufacturer’s operational efficiency and ensure long term competitiveness in the global markets, with the total benefits of the activities expected to amount to approximately €13m (US$14.4m) annually starting from 2018.
The restructuring costs of the transfer are estimated to amount to approximately €18m (US$19.9m), €16m (US$17.7m) of which will be booked in Kalmar’s parent company Cargotec’s 2016 results and the remaining €2m (US$2.2m) in its 2017 results, with approximately €3m (US$3.3) of the restructuring costs being cash effective.
Kalmar currently employs 350 people in Lidhult and Ljungby and about 320 people in Poland.
Dan Pettersson, senior vice president of Mobile Equipment at Kalmar, said in a statement: “The decisions are of course sad for the people in Lidhult. However, these actions are needed to sustain our global leadership position on the global markets.
According to Pettersson, the change is expected to bring synergies and make Kalmar’s production setup more cost competitive, enabling it to focus on technological competence development in digital business.
Pettersson added: “According to our estimates, we will have around 200 people employed at the new site [the new Business, Innovation and Technology Centre] in the future.”
As he said, the expansion of the company’s operations in Stargard to facilitate the production of forklift trucks will create about 200 new jobs in the region.