Business performance in the Group
In 2019, the KION Group laid the foundations for expanding its market share in the growth regions of the material handling market by making significant investments in new production facilities. It also entered into a strategic partnership that greatly improved its positioning in the growing market of energy-efficient drive technology.
A new plant at the production site in Pune is contributing to the expansion of KION’s presence in the APAC region. In terms of unit sales, the KION Group is already a leading supplier of industrial trucks in India. The additional capacity will help to consolidate this leading position. The work on converting and modernising the plant, which was purchased in the first quarter of 2019, was completed before the end of the year, meaning that production was able to commence. The new factory, in which capital of around €15 million is being invested, incorporates a research and development centre, a training centre for service personnel and an additional space to support Dematic’s growth in India.
The KION Group is investing over €60 million in the construction of a new factory for industrial trucks in Kołbaskowo, near Szczecin in Poland. The aim is to expand the Group’s production facilities in Europe and unlock even more of the market potential in the EMEA region. In line with the groupwide growth strategy, the new plant will produce Linde electric and IC counterbalance trucks, including model series that are currently manufactured at the factories in Aschaffenburg and Xiamen. The cutting-edge production facility in Poland is due to go into operation in early 2021.
In July 2019, KION GROUP AG and BMZ Holding GmbH signed an agreement to develop and manufacture lithium-ion batteries for industrial trucks in the EMEA region within the framework of a joint venture. The objective is to meet the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion battery systems in the intralogistics market. The joint venture, which was launched in the beginning of 2020, underlines the KION Group’s unchanged strategic focus on the development of more energy-efficient drive technologies for use in electric-powered intralogistics vehicles.
In order to comprehensively exploit the potential of the North American market for warehouse automation, a complete product line of automated very narrow aisle trucks, including fleet management software, was launched onto the market by Linde and integrated with Dematic’s intralogistics systems. As a result of the synergy potential thereby created, Industrial Trucks & Services is now able to offer a full range of material handling solutions specifically focussed on the North American market. And thus, a major order was already secured in the past financial year.