The fortnightly newsletter for industry professionals.
1. Clark and Sichelschmidt join forces
2. China market sees huge growth
3. Cascade drops Lift deal
4. NACCO forecasts steady year ahead
5. Sweet order for Goscor
6. New Spectrum electronic speed governor released
7. NZ company sues worker over factory downtime
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WETTER,Germany -- Clark Material Handling Europe and Sichelschmidt GmbH have responded to structural changes in international forklift markets with the formation of a marketing alliance.
The deal will see Clark Europe selling the entire range of Sichelschmidt explosion-proof forklifts via selected trade partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Sichelschmidt will expand its sales program in selected regions with Clark-manufactured three and four-wheel electric forklifts in the 1000kg to 2000kg load-capacity range.
Ralf Sichelschmidt told the strategic alliance was important to his company because the branding of his products by Clark, especially in countries where Sichelschmidt was unknown, eliminated the disadvantage of having to sell the brand and the product. It makes even more sense because the two companies have shared dealers in several European countries over the last 20 years, he said.
The branding of Clark product as Sichelschmidt will at first be limited to Germany, and will be restricted to the electric truck range only.
The opening up of new markets, particularly in the Middle East, Far East and Africa, was one of the main purposes of the co-operative arrangement, Mr Sichelschmidt said.
According to Dr Frithjof Timm, president of Clark Europe, the two companies are building an international network in which each company retains its independence, concentrates on its core activities, yet can develop new products of its own. Of importance to Clark was the fact that Sichelschmidt trucks were not retrofits, but purpose-built forklifts designed for use in hazardous areas worldwide, he said.
A global comparison of the two independent companies shows they hold leading positions. Clark offers the widest range of counterbalance forklifts, putting it seventh in the world market. Sichelschmidt is number one in the explosion-proof forklift sector. In spite of stiff competition, the two companies have succeeded in retaining and even expanding their market shares.
-----------------------------------------------------------------BEIJING, People's Republic of China -- Latest economic indicators show a boom in China's container handling and transport industries, with the industrial sector posting a pre-tax profit of 85.41 billion yuan (USD10.3 billion) for the first quarter, a 46 per cent increase on the first quarter of 2000.
China's National Bureau of Statistics figures, released on Tuesday, show total sales in the industrial sector, which includes containers handling and transport, rose 16 per cent to 1,925.58 billion yuan (USD232 billion) in January-March, reports the Xinhua News Agency.
China's economy is predicted to grow by 7.3 per cent in 2001 and 7.5 per cent next year, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Tang Min, ADB chief economist, said strong growth in the United States economy had boosted exports from China by 27.8 per cent to USD249 billion in 2000, but this was expected to drop to about 10 to 15 per cent in 2001-2002, as the global economy slowed.
China's industrial exports will gain from the surprise interest rate cut announced this month by the United States Federal Reserve.
"If the US economy can be stimulated by the Federal Government's move, it will benefit Chinese exporters in the long run," Zhang Youwen, an economist at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said.
Chinese material handling corporations are gearing up as container traffic grows. The Chinese Government has approved a 15.6 billion yuan (USD1.9 billion) expansion for the Port of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.
The program will boost Shenzhen's container handling capacity to 6.5 million TEUs by 2005, and 10 million TEUs by 2010.
Volume at Shenzhen last year reached 3.99 million TEUs, ranking it 10th in the world's container ports, but traffic levels were close to saturation, with facilities operating at 97% capacity.
Meanwhile, Dutch contractors have started work on the expansion of China's busiest port, Shanghai, forecast to cost USD18 million.
The deep-sea project involves a harbour and ancillary facilities built on Big and Little Yangshan Islands, about 35km off the coast, capable of handling the latest generation of container vessels, and with an annual capacity of 20 million TEUs, The Economist said.
The Shanghai Port Authority hopes to complete phase one by 2005, with five berths offering total capacity of 2 million TEUs a year.
Shanghai is China's busiest port, handling a record 200 million tonnes in 2000, including 5 million TEUs, but its berths on the Huangpu and Yangtze Rivers are too shallow for the latest ships.
The seaports of Qinhuangdao, Tianjin and Dalian each handled more than 90 million tonnes of cargo in 2000, says the China Ministry of Communications. If the ports capacity continues to increase, each is expected to handle more than 100 million tonnes this year.
Should that occur, China would have six ports capable of handling 100 million tonnes of cargo per year.
Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) says it is steadily increasing its share of the Chinese market. Last year, Hyundai's Heavy Equipment Division increased to 18 per cent of market share.
A Hyundai spokesman said the company aims for 20 per cent by the end of this year. Hyundai entered the market in 1995 through a joint venture, forming the Changzhou-Hyundai Construction & Machinery Company. In its first year, sales reached 1 billion Korean (USD765,697) and, in 1999, sales topped 60 billion Korean (USD45.94 million).
HHI is ranked fourth in China for heavy equipment market share, trailing Japan's Hitachi and Komatsu.
PORTLAND, USA -- Cascade Corporation has dropped plans to sell to the Lift Group after reviewing the revised proposal that hinged on a USD15.75 per share offer, if certain stipulations were met.

The slowing US economy, current environmental litigation, the reduced per share price, the distracting effect the proposed deal was having on staff and customers, and their view of the companys future strength, were cited as reasons for the decision.

Cascade said it would not seek an alternative buyer, but would focus on other strategies, such as reducing capital spending and debt and paying more attention to its core markets.

Cascade initially entered a merger agreement with Lift Technologies Group, TD Capital Group and the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement Board last October.

The Lift Group, a company formed by the three buyers, was to assume Cascade as a wholly-owned subsidiary. The purchase price was USD320 million, including outstanding debts.

The environmental litigation is a USD25.6 million claim against Cascade and Boeing, alleging water contamination at Portland. The claim is still in progress.
-----------------------------------------------------------------OHIO, USA -- NACCO Industries expects lift truck shipments in the Americas this year to decline from 2000 record levels as lift truck bookings are affected by a weakening US economy.
In Europe, NACCO expects lift truck demand to remain within the range of current levels for 2001, although the continued weakness of the Euro against the British pound sterling is expected to affect results adversely in Europe, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Lift truck shipments in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to remain comparable to 2000 levels. A weak Australian dollar could continue to have a negative effect on the margins of lift trucks imported into Australia.
DURBAN, South Africa -- Beacon Sweets & Chocolates has ordered 28 Crown and Daewoo forklifts from Goscor Industrial Corporation.
It is reportedly one of the largest orders of its kind in the area in recent times.
The forklifts will be used for bulk stacking and picking up palletised stock in Beacon's national warehouse.
Goscor acquired the franchise for Daewoo forklifts in South Africa in 1994 and has since sold more than 1000 units in industries from warehousing and manufacturing. Goscor holds 7 per cent to 10 per cent of the South African forklift market and, with Crown, is the fourth largest supplier of forklifts and associated materials handling equipment in South Africa.
CALIFORNIA, USA -- IMPCO Technologies has released a new Spectrum electronic engine speed governor for industrial applications.
The self-contained modular governor uses a proprietary design and software to produce increased torque and horsepower while reducing OEM assembly costs and part number proliferation.
Roger Burrows, director of global sales, engine systems division, said the new governor system was a large step forward in engine speed control and cost reduction for industrial equipment such as forklifts and stationary generators.
With OEMs looking to consolidate suppliers and asking them to offer greater value-added services, this new electronic governor brings together simplified cost reductions, and extra vehicle and/or equipment performance under a single part number, he said.
The electronic governor can be calibrated specifically to an end-use application by the OEM at its assembly facility.
Electronic governors are the latest in a series of applications using precision electronics and digital controls to improve the resolution and performance of engine and fuel management systems in industrial equipment. After-market governors will be available this year for popular lift trucks, offering them instant power increases. *****************************************************************
GISBORNE, New Zealand -- Remember the worker who caused mayhem in a factory by serving cake laced with cannabis to workmates during a tea break?
The saga continues, with the packing company suing the employee for causing a two-day shutdown when giggling staff began stumbling around conveyor belts and trying to operate heavy machinery and drive forklifts.
The worker has been convicted of supplying the drug-laced cake to fellow workers, and could face jail or a fine. Production at the factory fell by 50 per cent in the week after the incident, The New Zealand Herald reported.
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