Business model and organizational structure

The KION Group’s business model is designed so that customers of all sizes and from all sectors can obtain the full spectrum of material handling products and services from a single source. Thanks to its broad technology base, diversified product portfolio, and worldwide service network, the KION Group is able to bring a comprehensive portfolio of such products and services to the market.

The KION Group’s market activities was divided into five Operating Units in the financial year 2020: LMH EMEA, STILL EMEA, KION APAC, KION Americas, and Dematic. LMH EMEA and STILL EMEA each concentrate on Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. KION APAC and KION Americas hold cross-brand responsibility for industrial truck business in the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas respectively. Dematic is the global supply chain solutions business. While KION GROUP AG is the strategic management holding company and is responsible for the groupwide strategy, the allocation of resources, and groupwide business standards, the Operating Units have full commercial responsibility for their business.

For internal management purposes, the KION Group has divided its operating business into two segments that correspond to the operating segments as required by international financial reporting standards (IFRS 8). The industrial truck business, including the sales supporting financial services, is shown in the Industrial Trucks & Services segment, while activities focusing on end-to-end supply chain solutions make up the Supply Chain Solutions segment. The two segments complement each other in terms of their respective market position and regional presence. The Corporate Services segment comprises the other activities and holding functions of the KION Group. These include service companies that provide services such as IT, logistics, and general administration across all segments.

Industrial Trucks & Services segment

The Industrial Trucks & Services segment encompasses the activities of the international brand companies Linde, STILL, and Baoli, the local brand companies Fenwick and OM (formerly OM Voltas), plus the financial services business.

  • Linde is an international and technologically innovative premium brand that manufactures forklift and warehouse trucks and provides accompanying fleet management solutions, driver assistance systems, and service options, meeting even the most demanding customer requirements in terms of technology, efficiency, functionality, and design. In France, Linde products are sold under the Fenwick brand.
  • STILL, a provider of forklift trucks, warehouse trucks, and intralogistics systems, drives innovation in its field and has a particular focus on the European market and Brazil.
  • Baoli is the international brand for the lower end of the volume segment and the economy segment.
  • OM is the local brand company for the Indian market, through which the KION India Pvt. Ltd. subsidiary manufactures and sells electric and IC industrial trucks and warehouse trucks.
  • KION Financial Services (KION FS) is an internal funding partner for the Industrial Trucks & Services segment, providing finance solutions to support sales.

So that it can fully cater to the needs of material handling customers worldwide, the business model of the Industrial Trucks & Services segment covers the key steps of the value chain: product development, manufacturing, sales and service, truck rental and used trucks, fleet management, and financial services that support the core industrial truck business.

The segment earns just over half of its revenue in the financial year 2020 from the sale of industrial trucks. The product portfolio includes counterbalance trucks powered by an electric drive or internal combustion engine, warehouse trucks (ride-on and hand-operated), and towing vehicles for industrial applications covering all load ranges. Worldwide research and development activities strengthen the Industrial Trucks & Services segment’s position as a technology driver, which it is extending in areas such as energy-efficient and low-emission drive technologies and automation solutions. In this field, the KION Group operates 17 production facilities for industrial trucks and components in eight countries. So that it can ensure security of supply and the availability of spare parts for important components in order to meet customers’ specific requirements, the segment manufactures major components itself, notably lift masts, axles, counterweights, and safety equipment. Energy-efficient lithium-ion battery systems are manufactured by the joint venture KION Battery Systems (KBS). Other components – such as hydraulic components, electronic components, conventional rechargeable batteries, engine components, and industrial tires – are purchased through the global procurement organization.

As a rule, industrial trucks are built according to the customer’s individual specifications. The premium positioning of the international Linde and STILL brands is based on the integration of end-to-end mobile automation solutions, advantages for customers in terms of total cost of ownership (TCO), and high energy efficiency and safety standards. The segment is underpinned by an extensive sales and service network. As at December 31, 2020, this network comprised around 1,800 outlets in over 100 countries and was staffed by around 19,000 service employees, just under half of whom were employed by the KION Group.

The worldwide vehicle fleet, which consisted of more than 1.6 million industrial trucks at the end of 2020, provides a broad base for the service business. This business helps to smooth out fluctuations in the segment’s revenue and is aimed at reducing dependency on market cycles and supporting new truck sales by maintaining lasting customer relationships. Extensive and innovative services such as digital fleet management are offered for every stage of the lifecycle, mainly for premium products. There are also individual orders for repairs and maintenance work as well as for spare parts. In addition, the Operating Units have extensive used truck and rental truck businesses, allowing peaks in capacity requirements to be met and customers to be supported after their leases have expired.

Financial services support the sale of new trucks in many markets, forming another pillar of the service business. Its activities comprise the financing of long-term leasing business for external customers, the internal financing of the short-term rental business, and the related risk management. In the large sales markets with a high volume of financing and leasing activities, legally independent KION FS companies handle this business. About half of all new trucks are financed via the KION Group itself or via external banks and financing partners. Offering financial services is therefore part of the truck sales process. Leases are generally linked to a service contract covering the term of the finance agreement.

Supply Chain Solutions segment

The Supply Chain Solutions segment, with its Dematic brand, is the world’s leading provider in the market for warehouse automation, based on 2019 revenue figures (Interact Analysis, 2020).

Manual and automated solutions are provided for all functions along customers’ supply chains, from goods inward and Multishuttle warehouse systems to picking, automated palletizing, and automated guided vehicle systems. Picking equipment controlled by radio, voice, or light is available for nearly all goods and packaging types. Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRSs), robotic picking systems, and compact, powerful split-case and pallet picking stations can be used to achieve very fast throughput times and picking rates. At the same time, cross-docking solutions increase the efficiency of the system as a whole by eliminating the unnecessary handling and storage of goods. The micro-fulfillment system was developed to speed up the processing of online orders in retail and in distribution centers near urban areas. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) optimize the inhouse movement of goods on the factory floor, in warehouses, and in distribution centers.

Real-time management of the supply chain solutions is based on the proprietary software platform Dematic iQ, which can be integrated into the customer’s existing application landscape. With features such as real-time material flow data analysis, Dematic iQ can help with the optimization of all kinds of processes to ensure seamless order processing. The Dematic iQ portfolio comprises a warehouse execution system (WES) that ensures a high level of workflow efficiency, a cloud-based asset performance management (APM) platform that brings together all operational, maintenance, and equipment data, a plant emulation and simulation platform for digitally modeling operational or software changes, and a process execution platform for executing manual business processes using mobile devices.

The segment is primarily involved in customer-specific, longer-term project business. With nine production facilities in North America, Europe, China, and Australia and regional teams of experts, Dematic is able to plan and deliver logistics solutions with varying degrees of complexity worldwide.

The (new) project business (business solutions) covers every phase of a new installation: analysis of the customer’s needs and the general parameters, provision of appropriate advice, computer simulation of bespoke intralogistics solutions in the customer’s individual environment, technical planning and design of the system, implementation of the control technology and its integration into the customer’s existing IT infrastructure, site and project management, and plant monitoring and support for the customer during implementation of the system, including training for the workforce.

The system components, which are specified in detail for each customer project, such as automated guided vehicles, palletizers, storage and picking equipment including automated storage and retrieval systems, sorters, and conveyors, are manufactured inhouse or, in some cases, by third parties.

As at December 31, 2020, modernization work and services (customer services), which usually cover the entire lifetime of an installed system, were provided to customers locally by just under 2,000 employees in over 30 countries. The service business benefits from an installed base of more than 6,000 systems.

For an interactive map of production sites visit

Production sites of the KION Group

Industrial Trucks & Services



Indaiatuba / São Paulo:

Counterbalance trucks with electric drive or IC engine, warehouse technology

People’s Republic of China



Counterbalance trucks with electric drive or IC engine, warehouse technology


Counterbalance trucks with electric drive or IC engine, heavy trucks, warehouse technology




Counterbalance trucks with electric drive or IC engine


Component production


Component production


Counterbalance trucks with electric drive or IC engine, warehouse technology, components

Kahl am Main:

Spare parts center, component production

Karlstein am Main:

Lithium-ion batteries


Very narrow aisle trucks


Component production




Warehouse technology




Counterbalance trucks with electric drive or IC engine, warehouse technology




Warehouse technology

Czech Republic


Český Krumlov:

Component production


Warehouse technology

United States



Counterbalance trucks with electric drive or IC engine, warehouse technology

Supply Chain Solutions




Conveyor and sortation systems, automated guided vehicle systems, system components and racking




Automated guided vehicle systems

People’s Republic of China



Conveyor, sortation, storage and retrieval systems



Offenbach am Main:

Conveyor, sortation, storage and retrieval systems




Sortation systems

Czech Republic



Conveyor systems




Conveyor, sortation, storage and retrieval systems, system components

United States



Automated guided vehicle systems

Salt Lake City:

Conveyor, sortation, storage and retrieval systems, automated guided vehicle systems, system components