FORKLIFTACTION.COM
MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE - #24 June 7, 2001
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The fortnightly newsletter for industry professionals.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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1. MAJOR FORKLIFT DEALER DUMPS NISSAN FOR MITSUBISHI
2. TCM EYES SHARE OF ASIAN FORKLIFT MARKET
3. LINDE MAKES INROADS DOWN UNDER
4. NEW ZEALAND PREDICTS CONTAINER BOOM
5. UNEXPECTED GUEST DROPS IN
6. FORKLIFT DRIVER CONVICTED OF FARTING
7. INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM
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1. MAJOR FORKLIFT DEALER DUMPS NISSAN FOR MITSUBISHI
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SYDNEY, Australia -- Nissan Forklifts Australia's foremost Sydney dealer has switched brands, and will retail Mitsubishi forklifts and Fantuzzi container handlers from next month.

Nomad Materials Handling, which has been Nissan's original Sydney dealership for more than 15 years, will end its ties on June 30. Nomad also operates a forklift rental fleet of more than 1200 machines in the states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Nomad managing director Ross Grassick told Forkliftaction.com that Nissan, which has its Australian headquarters in Sydney, began a retail drive in 2000, marketing its products direct to the industry and effectively competing with its own dealer.

"Having our supplier in direct competition with us, and Nissan being an aggressive marketer, made it very hard to keep up a commercial relationship with them," Mr Grassick said.

"It has become increasingly difficult to play on this field."

Nomad will now deal Mitsubishi forklifts supplied through Sydney-based importer MLA Holdings. Through the tie-up, Nomad will also add the Fantuzzi range to its product line.

"We couldn't compete with Nissan going direct. We were losing out on brand awareness, and customers believed they were saving money going to the manufacturer," Mr Grassick said.

"Now we have a supply arrangement with MLA and, while they are in the business of selling Mitsubishi and Fantuzzi products themselves, retail is not their core business."

MLA managing director Ken Rathgen said Nomad was "a very welcome addition to our distribution network".

The new arrangement is expected to give Mitsubishi, which commands a strong presence in Australia already, further leverage into the market, Mr Rathgen said.

The news comes only months after Adapt-A-Lift, a Brisbane-based dealer, acted similarly in dumping its Nissan supply deal for an alternate agreement with Mitsubishi.
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2. TCM EYES SHARE OF ASIAN FORKLIFT MARKET
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TOKYO, Japan -- TCM Corporation plans to build a new forklift plant in China, and set up a sales subsidiary in Thailand, as part of a move to expand its toehold on the Asian forklift market.

TCM will invest JPY800 million (USD6.64 million) to construct a factory in China, through a joint venture, which is already established with an unnamed Chinese company, the Nikkei Business Daily said.

TCM did not name the joint-venture company, but Forkliftaction.com understands TCM's distributor in Hong Kong is Dah Chong Hong Industrial Machinery. Construction will begin in October, and is to be completed by June 2002.

The new plant will have a floor area of 12,000 square metres, and initially have a production capacity of 3000 units a year, but plans could see output increased to 5000 units, dependent on Asian forklift demand.

The joint venture now operates a plant that has a production capacity of 1500 units but, after completing the new plant, TCM eventually plans to sell the existing plant and transfer all output to the new plant.

By the end of this year, TCM will also establish a wholly owned sales subsidiary in Thailand which will sell forklifts to Asian markets other than China. Sales are currently being handled by a local sales agency.

For now, the company plans to export Asia-bound forklifts from Japan, but some vehicles will be shipped from China after the new plant is finished.
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3. LINDE MAKES INROADS DOWN UNDER
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SYDNEY, Australia -- Linde AG, the world's biggest forklift manufacturer, is making inroads into the Australian market, striking major deals this year.

Linde is currently delivering a shipload of more than 120 forklifts from Germany, ranging from two tonnes to two-and-a-half tonnes, to nationwide department store chain Big W's distribution centre in the south-western region of the state of Queensland. Big W is owned by the Woolworths supermarket chain.

Linde Queensland business development manager Ken Gardner said the five-year supply and maintenance deal was awarded through a tender process, which Linde won early this year.

Big W northern distribution manager Kevin Jones would not comment on the deal, but said the chain had previously used forklifts from Kyoto, Japan-based manufacturer Nichiyu, one of the world's largest forklift manufacturers, with annual turnover of about USD344 million.

Mr Gardner said the Big W deal involved supplying electric, reach, ballast and pallet trucks. "We're very excited about the deal," he said. "It represents a big step forward for us here in Australia."

Mr Gardner would not say how much the deal was worth.

Forkliftaction.com understands Linde's New South Wales division is close to settling a deal to supply 90 units to a major company in that state. Linde would not comment on the deal.
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BRIEFLY...
4. NEW ZEALAND PREDICTS CONTAINER BOOM
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Ports of Auckland Ltd (POA), which is expecting a boom in inbound container traffic next year, is reconfiguring and expanding its existing layout to handle 4000-TEU and higher cargo ships.

POA says major Asia-Pacific shipping companies P&O Nedlloyd and Contship had indicated plans to freight containers using 4100-TEU mega-ships from early 2002.

POA's container-handling subsidiary, Axis Intermodal (AI), started the reconfiguration last week, relocating a 694-tonne, 50 metre-high gantry crane about two kilometres from POA's Axis Fergusson terminal to the Axis Bledisloe terminal. The gantry was jacked onto skids, slid back from its rails, and jacked onto special road trailers, towed by heavy haulage trucks.

AI has paid NZD18.5 million to Zhenhua Port Machinery Company in Shanghai for two post-panamax container cranes, able to lift two 20-foot containers simultaneously, for the Axis Fergusson terminal. The cranes are to be delivered on a special crane transport vessel next January. AI also plans to increase its number of straddle carriers.

AI general manager Sandy Gibson said: "The relocation will ensure our container-line customers obtain service improvements, (and) prepare for the arrival of our two new cranes."
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5. UNEXPECTED GUEST DROPS IN
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PORTISHEAD, United Kingdom -- A woman was making lunch when an unexpected guest, a forklift driver, crashed through the wall at her Portishead home last week.

A construction worker had collapsed at the wheel of the forklift, and the machine speared through Joyce Eitelberg's garden and into the study, news service Ananova reported.

"At first I thought the microwave was exploding but it was actually too loud to be that," Ms Eitelberg said.

"It is hard to believe what happened, but I just thank my lucky stars I was not in the study, and it did not keep going."

Paramedics gave the forklift driver the all clear, and boarded up the 2.5 metre hole in the house.

The driver had been working on building sites nearby when the accident occurred.
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6. FORKLIFT DRIVER CONVICTED OF FARTING
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WERRIBEE, Australia -- A forklift driver has been convicted of offensive behaviour and fined AUD200 after breaking wind near a police officer, in what is believed to be the first conviction of its kind in Australian history.

Last August, David John Grixti was jailed overnight for being drunk but, as he passed the police station counter, he broke wind near an officer, Australian newspapers reported.

Grixti was convicted, which means the charge will be listed on his criminal record, and fined by the judge, who said Grixti's actions "intended to cause anger and disgust".
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7. INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM
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WILSON WINS FORKLIFTACTION.COM PRIZE

Congratulations to Greg Wilson, product manager at Elgas Energy Ltd, in Sydney, Australia. Greg won a Forkliftaction.com aluminium briefcase, awarded through a business card draw at MHD 2001, held in Sydney late in May.


BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY BECKONS IN INDIA

A substantial company, based in Bangalore, India, is looking for materials handling products to distribute throughout India. Interested manufacturers or distributors can email Forkliftaction.com at info@forkliftaction.com. Your contact details and product catalogue will be passed direct to the Indian company.


EQUIPMENT FOR SALE

Forkliftaction.com has received several submissions from materials handling dealers and users who wish to sell used equipment.

Used equipment sales will form an integral part of the forkliftaction.com portal once the site is launched. In the meantime, we welcome inquiries from companies and individuals who wish to receive notification of used equipment for sale.

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If you want to receive used equipment listings, email a request to us at info@forkliftaction.com.

Forkliftaction.com currently has information on used container handlers, reach stackers, all-terrain machines and smaller gas and diesel forklifts for sale, in locations around the world.
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