Nissan Forklift Corporation, North America announced that it has joined forces with TCM America under a new name, UniCarriers Americas Corporation effective April 1, 2013, with head offices in Marengo, Ill. UniCarriers Americas Corporation is a division of UniCarriers Corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. UniCarriers Holdings is the parent company of UniCarriers.
According to Modern Materials Handling‘s (LM’s sister publication) 2012 Top 20 Lift Truck Suppliers, published shortly after the merger was initially announced in August 2012, Nissan Forklift was ranked 8th in the world with $1 billion in 2011 revenues, and TCM was ranked 11th with $746 million in 2011 revenues.
“We are excited to combine the strengths of these two companies to form a stronger market presence,” said Peter Kruse, president, UniCarriers Americas Corporation, in a recent interview. Kruse is leading the management team of the new entity, which will serve North and South America. Kruse said extensive research into customer demands are informing a suite of new products, one of which is already in development. “We’re looking to understand and anticipate the needs of customers, from the smallest operations all the way to major accounts,” said Kruse. “We’re going to go after those customers by getting more new products out faster.”
Amid ongoing market studies and research of customers in the eastern hemisphere, Kruse said they have expressed a consistent emphasis on quality and durability of both products and processes. UniCarriers Americas has a network of more than 235 authorized dealerships with over 350 locations across North, Central and South America, as well as additional worldwide locations. Those locations will help bring TCM’s strength and significant Japanese market in large equipment such as container handlers to North America, said Kruse.
Kruse said the union of TCM and Nissan was a merger of equals. “Because the market is mature, there’s not as much growth potential, so we need to be stronger on a global basis to be able to take advantage of emerging markets,” said Kruse. “We looked at the combination as being necessary to compete on a global level.”
In particular, Kruse noted potential in South America, particularly in Brazil in light of the World Cup, Olympics and Panama Canal. “In Canada, the U.S. and even to some extent Mexico are on the mature market side,” Said Kruse. “The combined effect presents significant opportunities for us there.”
UniCarriers will encompass five brands: Nissan Forklift, TCM, Atlet, Barrett and UniCarriers. To transition the brand equity of the non-UniCarriers brands to UniCarriers, all trucks will display a “by UniCarriers” endorsement beginning June 1, 2013.
Material handling equipment will be the sole business of UniCarriers, rather than a peripheral business unit. Separately, the global rankings of Nissan Forklift Corporation and TCM Corporation were 11th and 15th respectively, according to the Weltrangliste 2011/2012 list of the top global manufacturers. United, UniCarriers has jumped to number seven on the list. The company will continue its pledge to protect the environment, and operate as a green company.