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13 December 2004

Manitou celebrates manufacture of 200,000th forklift

World leader in rough terrain materials handling, Manitou, has celebrated a significant milestone in its history with the 200,000th forklift truck rolling off the production line at Ancenis in western France last month.

The machine, a Manitou MI 70 H yard truck, was donated to the International Red Cross by Manitou’s president, Marcel Claude Braud.

Mr Braud, whose grandfather founded the forerunner to Manitou shortly after World War II, picked up on the family theme in welcoming colleagues and some 600 Manitou dealers from 70 nations to a Manitou World Convention in Paris to mark the occasion.

"As a family business, it’s appropriate that we gather with you, our family of employees and dealers, to celebrate this achievement, to reaffirm our values, to strengthen our leadership and to plan for an even more successful future."

"Our vision is to work with customers to produce the world’s best rough terrain forklifts, and I call on you all to join me in subscribing to a new challenge – to produce and sell our 300,000th Manitou forklift truck by 2010," he said to spontaneous applause.

Manitou’s first forklift truck left the Ancenis factory in 1958. The 10,000 landmark was reached in 1968, with 20,000 machines produced by 1973, 60,000 by 1983 and 100,000 by 1992.

Today, thanks largely to the ingenuity of Manitou; the creation of subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Italy and the USA; and the establishment of a number of key strategic partnerships, one in every three forklift trucks sold around the world carries the Manitou name. The global market is currently estimated at 40,000 units per annum.

Mr Braud used the occasion to announce that Manitou will boost its already significant research and development spend by 40% as it sets out to expand its range and enhance its presence in the key sectors of construction, agriculture and industry.

The company aims to grow the number of Manitou units in operation from the current 14,000 to 20,000 by 2010, with 40% engaged in construction and 30% each in agriculture and industry.

Manitou also chose the celebrations to reveal a new, modernised corporate identity and logo, and to launch a limited edition ‘200,000th Series’ of prestige Maniscopic telescopic handlers.

The primary distributor in Australia of Manitou’s rough terrain forklifts and telescopic handlers is NTP Forklifts Australia. NTP has more than 20 years’ experience in materials handling, with branches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville and affiliates in Perth, Hobart and Darwin.

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