FORKLIFTACTION.COM
MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE #26 July 05, 2001
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The fortnightly newsletter for industry professionals.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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1. MEGA DEALER CREATED IN MICHIGAN
2. CHINA CAT DEALER SPREADS ITS WINGS
3. SPANISH FORKLIFT MAKER ON EXPANSION TRAIL
4. PHILIPPINES PORTS GROW MATERIALS HANDLING FLEETS
5. DETOUR ALMOST COSTS TAILIFT
6. INDONESIAN LEADER GETS RED CARPET RIDE
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1. MEGA DEALER CREATED IN MICHIGAN
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STERLING HEIGHTS, USA -- The oldest and the largest forklift dealers in Michigan have merged to form one of the most diverse materials handling dealerships in the United States.

Forklifts of Detroit (FOD), the state's largest provider of retail and rental fleets, and Roseville-based Fraza Equipment, a dedicated Caterpillar dealer which has been in business for more than 60 years, have formed Fraza/Forklifts of Detroit.

FOD sells and rents Clark, Daewoo, Linde, Sellick, BT/Prime Mover and Royal forklift lines. Fraza sells Caterpillar forklifts, Otec heavy duty forklifts and Condor lift platforms. FOD has a short and long-term rental fleet of more than 1000 units.

FOD advertising manager Graham Frizzell told Forkliftaction.com that the two companies would merge by August to create a "mega-dealer" with more than USD80 million in annual sales.

"We are extremely excited about this deal, it is a big step forward for both companies," he said. "Customers from both sides have confidence in the merger, and are sticking around."

Mr Frizzell said the merger had meant few redundancies, as most staff were retained by the new company. FOD had gained the Caterpillar range to complement its products, and Fraza would benefit from FOD's scale.

Fraza/Forklifts of Detroit will be headquartered in Sterling Heights and have branches in Bridgeport, Romulus, Roseville, and Troy. FOD's dealer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will continue to operate as Forklifts West, but will be part of the new, merged entity.
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2. CHINA CAT DEALER SPREADS ITS WINGS
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BEIJING, China -- Westrac China will increase its investment in the Chinese materials handling industry from USD10 million to USD50 million over the next five years.

The China Daily said Westrac China, a partner of Perth, Australia-based Westrac Equipment Holdings (WEH), which is one of the world's largest Caterpillar dealers, was increasing its stake in China to cater for growth it had experienced so far.

Westrac China was launched late in May to provide equipment to Chinese Caterpillar customers in the materials handling, mining, quarrying, agriculture, construction, marine and petroleum industries.

Caterpillar is one of the world's largest materials handling equipment manufacturers, with sales last year of USD20.18 billion.

WEH chairman Kerry Stokes said there was "huge" demand for Caterpillar machines. "We are very excited by China's rapidly growing market," he said. "China will definitely become our biggest market in the future."

Stokes said Westrac China expected to employ more than 5000 Chinese workers over the next five years, eclipsing the Australian operation, which employs 1000 and is the nation's biggest Caterpillar dealer.

Siegfried Ramseyer, vice-president of Caterpillar Asia-Pacific, said Caterpillar's goal was to form relationships with "world-class" dealers.

"We are very glad to see Westrac China is developing structures and systems that complement the high quality of our products in China," he said.
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3. SPANISH FORKLIFT MAKER ON EXPANSION TRAIL
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BARCELONA, Spain -- Spanish all-terrain forklift manufacturer Automoviles Utilitarios SA (AUSA) has expanded its presence in the Italian materials handling market, establishing two new dealerships there.

AUSA Italy spokesman Maurizio Sordi said AUSA had bought out two existing forklifts dealers, Ortes Commerciale in Sicily and Geiffe 2000 in Ravenna.

"The Italian market is highly protected and competition is very tough," Mr Sordi said. "Products from outside are subjected to strict regulations."

But he said the market was too attractive to ignore, with Italy's per-capita income the sixth largest in the world. "AUSA is building up an extensive and successful sales network in that market," he said.

AUSA, founded in 1956, manufactures off-road forklifts of up to 3.2 tonnes, cement mixers and dump trucks. The company has an annual turnover of more than 60 million Euros.
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4. PHILIPPINES PORTS GROW MATERIALS HANDLING FLEETS
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PHILIPPINES -- Two major Philippines port operators have expanded their materials handling fleets ahead of an anticipated boom in cargo throughput in the region.

South Cobato Integrated Port Services Inc (SCIPSI) and Subic Bay International Terminal Corp (SBITC) have embarked on spending drives to boost their fleets.

SCIPSI, south of Manila, has purchased four heavy forklifts: two Kalmar machines of 15 tonnes and 25 tonnes capacity, an eight-tonne capacity Hyster and a 3.5-tonne capacity TCM. The company also has bought two reach stackers of 40-tonne capacity, five prime movers, two automatic spreaders, two hoppers, two clamshells, two livestock ramps and assorted stevedoring gears and cables. SCIPSI also runs nine Caterpillar and Toyota forklifts of up to three-tonne capacity.

The company would not disclose the amount spent on the new machines, but said it was bracing for a boom in cargo volume handled at the port.

SCIPSI sees the increasing tonnages of recent years continuing. There was a 10 per cent increase in containerised cargo from 113,409 TEUs in 1999 to 124,902 TEUs last year.

Meanwhile SBITC has expanded its forklift fleet with the purchase of a 30.5-tonne capacity Hitachi quay crane, three Kalmar and PPM reach stackers of 40-tonne capacity, and other heavy forklifts, including three TCM machines.

SBITC expects container volume to increase by at least 20 per cent this year. Since it began operating the Navao Supply Depot area of the Subic Bay Freeport late last year, the company has handled 10,607 TEUs of containerised cargo.
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BRIEFLY...
5. DETOUR ALMOST COSTS TAILIFT
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EL PASO, USA -- Chinese forklift maker Tailift almost didn't get to show off its latest offering at ProMat in Chicago this year.

A source told Forkliftaction.com that the company's new DV8r was enroute to Chicago when the truck driver responsible for delivering the machine detoured to El Paso, Texas, to make a drug deal.

He was arrested by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the DV8r was confiscated. Forkliftaction.com understands Tailift management was able to convince the DEA that the forklift had nothing to do with the drug deal, and the new model made it to the show.
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6. INDONESIAN LEADER GETS RED CARPET RIDE
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CANBERRA, Australia -- A red-carpeted forklift solved a top-level political dilemma in Canberra, Australia's political capital, last week.

Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid and his wheelchair-bound wife Sinta Nuriah were airlifted to Canberra in a Royal Australian Air Force VIP jet, after their own plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.

When the jet arrived in Canberra, exiting the aircraft presented a problem, until someone came up with the bright idea of using a forklift to get the President's wife out of the plane.

Mr Wahid's Australian visit for talks with Australian Prime Minister John Howard had been deferred four times due to Indonesia's political turmoil.
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