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16 January 2002

Kalmar strengthens its sales, marketing and servicing capabilities in France’s important industrial lift truck sector

Kalmar Industries has signed an important contract with the French company Manuloc whereby Manuloc is now responsible for the sales, marketing and servicing of Kalmar products to industrial companies throughout France. Manuloc has a staff of 650 people based in 14 locations throughout France.

Kalmar France will however continue to work with those companies in France that are involved in the port and intermodal industries.

This deal is part of a larger strategy designed to meet the special needs of the industrial truck sector. A process of signing dealer contracts with major organisations in various European countries, including the UK and Germany, has been initiated by the relevant Kalmar business unit, Kalmar Industrial Systems, each national solution being individually tailored according to local requirements and opportunities. For example, while Manuloc has an exclusive contract for the whole of France, eventually, there will be a network of about a dozen dealers covering the German market.

Kalmar has been working with Manuloc for 20 years, the relationship having begun in 1981 when Manuloc supplied a Kalmar 12-tonner to a Saint Gobain subsidiary on a rental plus full maintenance basis. Since then, the relationship has flourished and over 200 Kalmar machines have been sold or rented via Manuloc.

However, the arrangement was not exclusive as Manuloc’s operations were not nationwide and in 1995, Kalmar France signed a dealer contract with another company, FMS, covering Rhône-Alpes and Savoies, Auvergne, Provence-Alpes-cote d'Azur and Midi-Pyrénées. Now though, FMS has been acquired by Manuloc from its Australian parent, Brambles, giving Manuloc 100% coverage of the French market. This acquisition prompted the two companies to reassess their collaboration and has led to a new exclusive contract whereby Manuloc purchases machines and spare parts directly from Kalmar Industries although Kalmar France continues to provide across-the-board support to Manuloc as appropriate.

Kalmar Industrial Systems’ Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Mikael Rietz, explained the rationale behind the Manuloc deal:
"There were several reasons for choosing this strategy. The principal driver was that we needed a more efficient way of penetrating the industrial market and at the same time we wanted to be able to offer a more personal and efficient service to our customers.
"It was however still very important that we should have a lean and flexible organisation yet one that was capable of offering our customers tailor-made packages. This might, for example, include rental deals involving Kalmar and non-Kalmar machines, eg small lift trucks of five tonnes and below, pallet trucks, etc.

"Already, for example, we have seen sales improvements of up to 30% in the UK despite the fact that the final arrangements for our dealership network are still to be finalised.

Mr Yves Cario, Managing Director of Kalmar France, added:
"Kalmar France is concentrated in the major ports including Le Havre, Fos (Marseilles) and Dunkirk where it has been very successful selling container handling equipment and is well positioned to provide a range of added-value services.

"Meeting the needs of the industrial sector is however a very different matter. Customers are thinly spread all over France and have very individual requirements. Because of this, it is hard for us to maintain on a direct basis, the levels of contact and service capability which all Kalmar customers have a right to expect.

"Manuloc, on the other hand, has 14 branches employing 650 personnel throughout France. It sells a wide range of handling equipment throughout the country, is strong both in sales terms and maintenance capability and is therefore well able to meet the needs of rental customers. This is not a service which Kalmar France offers on a direct basis but it is very popular with industrial customers."

Kalmar lift trucks are an important element within the overall range of machines Manuloc offers its customers. Above 5.5 tonnes lift capacity, Kalmar machines are highly competitive and Manuloc has no hesitation in proposing Kalmar solutions to its customers, explains Manuloc’s founder Mme Catherine Barthelemy:

"Kalmar machines are excellently engineered. They may not be the cheapest on the market but many of our customers have just one or two big lift trucks and having just one machine out of action can be very disruptive to the smooth running of a factory. Kalmar quality justifies any premium which may be involved."

For further information, please contact:

Kalmar Industries Communications Manager

Vice PresidentSales & Marketing Industrial Systems

Alternatively more information can be asked from:
David Cheslin or Karen Baxter at
Dunelm Public Relations on:
tel: +44 20 7480 0600.

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