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On the launch pad for 2012

12 December 2012

Linde Material Handling UK has unveiled plans for significant product launches in 2012. HSS met with Andrew Daly, UK sales & marketing director at Linde Material Handling to discuss how Linde is reacting to changing

Linde Material Handling UK has unveiled plans for significant product launches in 2012. HSS met with Andrew Daly, UK sales & marketing director at Linde Material Handling to discuss how Linde is reacting to changing customer needs with an evolving product line.

Can you tell us about the products you have planned for this year? We have a number of plans in place for product launches in 2012.We will be launching new versions of the E20 - E50 counterbalance and will look into introducing a Roadster version too. This pioneering truck would benefit from having no A column, will feature a roof made from breakproof safety glass, offering the operator more visibility and making load handling much easier.

We are also introducing to the market a new product for optimising production logistics. The Logistics Train, a P50C tow tractor with trailer operating unit, will make it possible for production logistics companies to achieve better handling performance and increased transport volumes as a result of improved logistics processes.

We also intend to introduce updated engines on our H50 - H180 ranges as well as the Tier 4i engine to bring us in line with EC regulations.

Over the next few years we will see a number of introductions of new engines driven by legislative requirements.

Over the course of last year we continued to invest in new products and launched several new innovative truck ranges to meet our customers' requirements.We are finding that the breadth and strength of our products, services and capabilities is currently serving our customers well but we look forward to continuing to extend and improve our product range in 2012.

Which product areas are in demand? The heavy counterbalance market remains strong for us and demand for these trucks has continued to grow, particularly in the construction sector.

We have also been winning more business in the logistics and warehousing sector where customers have very specific needs and are looking for the most relevant, costeffective solutions from their warehouse provider. One of our key strengths is our ability to meet and serve a variety of client types and in 2012 we have plans to grow each of our client group areas, from large national accounts to mid size corporate accounts and smaller territory accounts.We will continue to work closely with our clients to find them the right solutions through these difficult times.

In the last six months of 2011 we saw strong take up of our Short Term Rental proposition and we expect this part of our business to continue to grow and serve the market through 2012.

Feedback from our customers also tells us that an efficient and effective warehouse is a key driver for them.

At Linde we can boast the best products to suit a range of applications in this area, including our Stratos 3D warehouse planning and simulation tool and a wide range of specialist VNA equipment.

What are the key challenges customers are telling you about? At a time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever for us to remain close to our customers to make sure we understand their needs.

We always look to achieve this through closer engagement, cost reduction and greater flexibility.

Unsurprisingly, with increased pressure on budgets, our customers remain under pressure to reduce costs and are seeking help from their suppliers to achieve this.We know that when they're investing in a truck, customers want a premium, durable and reliable vehicle that they won't have to worry about further down the line. Continuing to demonstrate how working with Linde can reduce a company's overall cost of ownership therefore remains a priority for us.

Fuel consumption and productivity are clearly key issues for our customers during these tough times. The fuel consumption of our trucks is at least 20% lower than others in the industry which significantly reduces the overall lifetime cost of the trucks.We have also continued to improve our service capability and now have over a thousand service engineers available to offer customers the essential services needed to improve productivity - a must at this time of economic recovery.

What are your thoughts on fuel and battery developments? One of our priorities for 2012 is to develop lithium ion battery technology into our warehouse trucks.We recognise this as being one of the most significant market trends and displayed the concepts that we have already developed at CeMAT last year.

We have already had significant experience in lithium ion through our CiTi truck application and have undergone several rounds of internal testing and development. Over the coming months, we look forward to further developing this in 2012 and working closely with our customers to find the right applications for this new technology.