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Latest MHE market perceptions

How do forklift buyers choose their kit? Individually or in fleets?

The latest (May 2014) survey of Logistics Manager magazine readers shows that about a third of forklift purchasers acquire their equipment on an individual basis, whilst more than a third (39%) rent or buy on a ‘per warehouse/depot’ basis. Just over a fifth (22%) make their purchases based on the needs of the entire fleet.

Possibly not a huge surprise to people in the industry, but perhaps what is a surprise is how these compare to commercial vehicle or van purchases. Only 16% of commercial vehicle purchases, and a paltry 11% of vans, are bought on a depot basis – why the difference?

Perhaps the most obvious is a forklift is largely situation-based. Vans and trucks have places to go, so customers don’t tend to see these as tied to their location, but each are significant investments and yet the fact is that operators tend to see commercial vehicles, vans and forklifts very differently.

Another fascinating aspect of the survey puts Toyota and a German manufacturer neck and neck in terms of ‘top 3 manufacturer’ status. Presumably to the chagrin of Linde,  that company is Jungheinrich – a big player, certainly, but less than half the size of Kion in terms of sales revenue.

Outside the top 3, Mitsubishi, Hyster and Cat all have a decent showing, with results that belie their lower positions on the global manufacturers list. Whether Cesab are happy, despite being last on the list, remains to be seen. Only 3% mark them out as top 3 manufacturer status, yet they are simultaneously both part of the number one group, Toyota, and a brand perceived above a host of other Japanese, Korean and Chinese names.

Compare and contrast 2009 brand awareness results from Redshift Research…