5.1.1 Order intake

Market growth boosts intake of orders for new trucks (units)

The improved market conditions in 2010 enabled the KION Group to increase its global order intake for new trucks by 32 per cent to 121,500 units, contrasting with the 37 per cent decline to 92,000 units in 2009. Counterbalance trucks, which represent 44 per cent of the KION Group's order intake and are mainly used in industrial applications, benefited significantly from the economic recovery in western Europe, especially in Germany, and from the upward trajectory of the key high-growth markets. They demonstrated a much steeper upward trend than warehouse equipment, thereby making up for the above-average declines in 2009. The increase was driven to a significant extent by the emerging markets, which generated almost half of this growth. In recent years, they have steadily gained in significance and now account for more than a quarter of total order intake. In terms of the number of units sold, China is now the third-largest market for the KION Group, behind Germany and France. Brazil is in sixth place.

In western Europe, where it is a market leader, the KION Group was able to take advantage of its excellent distribution network and Germany's pronounced economic recovery. Order intake across all product categories increased at a higher rate than that of the western European market, rising by 24 per cent to 83,900 units. This means that more than one in three new trucks sold in western Europe was from one of the KION Group brands. The most important industrial truck markets in western Europe are Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Spain.

Order intake by the KION Group in eastern Europe rose sharply by 54 per cent to 8,800 units. The KION Group more than doubled its order intake in Russia, but was not entirely able to keep pace with the strong growth in that country. It slightly improved its market position in other eastern European countries. Besides Russia, the most significant markets in eastern Europe are Poland and the Czech Republic.

In the Americas, the KION Group increased its order intake by 80 per cent to 8,200 units. The most important market and, at the same time, the biggest driver of growth was Brazil, where the KION Group occupies a leading position in the electric-powered counterbalance trucks and warehouse equipment segments. Like the Linde and STILL brands, Baoli also made encouraging gains in the IC trucks segment. Brazil is now Baoli's most important export market.

In China, the KION Group boosted order intake by 47 per cent to 11,700 units due to rapid market growth and the launch of new market-specific products. Although it did not quite keep step with the market's high growth, which was mainly driven by low-priced IC trucks, the KION Group did in fact expand its market share slightly in the second most important, technologically sophisticated market segment for electric forklift trucks. The KION Group is represented by the two brands Linde and Baoli in China, and their product portfolios cater to the different market segments and customer needs. Overall, the KION Group is by far the most important international supplier in China, which is the largest individual market.

Emerging from the crisis as a winner; but loss of global market share due to strong growth in China

During the economic crisis, the KION Group gained market share in its important European markets thanks to its comprehensive portfolio of products and services, extensive distribution network and the high quality and efficiency of its products. The KION Group's strategic points of leverage are therefore proving effective. Compared to 2008, the year before the crisis, the KION Group expanded its market share in the four most important western European markets – and therefore in western Europe as a whole – as well as in eastern Europe and Brazil. China was the only country where the KION Group has lost a small amount of market share compared to 2008. This is because the Chinese market has grown strongly, mainly in the low-price IC trucks segment. The KION Group has also been represented there by the Baoli brand since 2009. As the largest provider in the high-quality premium segment in China with its Linde brand, the KION Group is also excellently placed to take advantage of the trend for efficient machinery, particularly in the electric forklift trucks and warehouse equipment segments. The KION Group's global market share contracted slightly from 16.8 per cent to 15.3 per cent. Gains in market share in the major western European markets were not able to fully make up for the structural shift resulting from strong growth in China, which now represents a quarter of the global market. However, the KION Group was able to extend its position as the number two in the global market and the market leader in Europe due to its excellent foothold in all high-growth regions and its balanced product mix compared to its main direct competitors.

Total order intake (€)

The value of the KION Group's order intake was €3,860 million, which equated to a year-on-year increase of 27 per cent. Apart from business in new trucks, this total includes other product categories such as rental business, used trucks and aftersales business. The categories other than new trucks were more stable – as they had been during the crisis. Growth in the value of order intake was therefore below that of the growth in orders taken for new trucks as measured in units. This growth was also driven by increased capacity utilisation of the fleet in the market and the associated rise in demand for services and spare parts, plus greater demand for used and rental trucks.

Order intake by brand




€ million




























Order intake by the KION Group's largest segment, LMH, benefited considerably from the strong upturn in the home German market and from growth in the Chinese, South American and eastern European markets. Order intake for new trucks in the LMH segment climbed by 33 per cent to 75,800 units.

The total value of orders taken by the Linde Material Handling segment grew by 34 per cent to €2,510 million.

In 2010, orders taken by STILL for new trucks increased by 38 per cent to 35,300 units. Germany, the eastern European countries and Brazil were the largest drivers of growth. Brazil is now STILL's third-largest individual market. The total value of STILL's order intake rose by 23 per cent in 2010 to €1,328 million.

The order intake for OM (including Komatsu) climbed by 10 per cent to 10,400 units. The below-average performance of its home southern European markets had a noticeable impact on OM. The distribution and production alliance with Komatsu expired towards the end of 2010. The total value of OM's order intake rose by 17 per cent in 2010 to €222 million.

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