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Doosan Aquire ATL

Korean forklift manufacturer, Doosan Infracore, has acquired the German warehouse equipment specialists, Advanced Technology Lübben (ATL) in a deal worth around €2.5m.

The acquisition paves the way for Doosan to launch its first ever range of pallet trucks, stackers and other warehouse equipment, as it pursues “Top 5 global player” status.

Based in Brandenburg, ATL manufactures a range of equipment, complete with electronic AC systems, traction control and modern energy management, aimed at the air cargo, beverage and freight forwarding industries, as well as the general warehousing sector.

ATL achieved a turnover of €4.6 million in 2007, with 42 employees working at the Lubben site. Production levels of warehouse equipment are expected to triple, as the new owners utilise their existing dealer network, including 100 ATL dealers in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and strives to shift the manufacturing of three wheel electric counterbalance trucks and a new ‘Euro-centric’ reach truck to Germany.

UK general sales manager, Paul Watson said: “This is excellent news for Doosan. The acquisition is strategically important, but also brings a wealth of expertise to the business. We expect to see the first Doosan branded warehouse trucks in the UK in early 2009”

Doosan also aims to retain key personnel, including ATL managing director, Wolfgang Dittmer, to oversee the expansion of the site and grow the production teams.

Chairman of the Doosan Infracore forklift business group, Chinwon Park, announced that it had been Doosan’s intention to add warehouse equipment to its portfolio ever since the company acquired the old Daewoo business in 2005.

Said Chinwon: “We have recognised that adding warehouse products, as well as another European manufacturing base, will further strengthen our position in our strongest export markets. ATL’s reputation for quality and reliability made them an ideal candidate for the next stage in our development. There is a rich pool of talent in the area and once established we are keen to expand both our production and distribution capabilities throughout Germany.”

Since 2005, Doosan has undertaken an aggressive growth policy, doubling forklift sales by introducing entirely new ranges of machines, the Pro-5 Range and GX Series, as well as acquiring associated businesses such as the utility vehicle company Bobcat; US engine technology specialists CTI; World-leading industrial boiler business, Babcock Energy and recently the Norwegian articulating dump trucks manufacturer, Moxy.

In March the company also announced construction of a new forklift factory, to be built in Suzhou, China, aiming for completion by April 2009. Building Korean technology products in a very competitive country is expected to increase capacity to 50,000 units per annum, putting Doosan into the top tier of forklift manufacturers.

“Our product range will be expanded and increased along with our compe­titi­veness,­” said Chinwon Park, who still sees the company’s ‘simple, powerful performance’ ethos as central to the business.

“Quite simply, we aim to build our forklifts better, cleaner, and stronger without unnecessary complication. In this respect, quality should not be limited to the products themselves, but extend to all things related to customer satisfaction. In this respect we are delighted to be expanding our European operations and I think we are truly on the road to achieve our ambitious aims.”

Doosan forklifts are available from 1.5 to 16.0 tonnes capacity IC engine models, and 1.0 tonnes to 5.0 capacity electric and in two model ranges, the high specification Pro-5 Range and the entry-level GX Series.