A new world ranking list of forklift truck producers demonstrates the continuing success of Chinese manufacturers. Hangcha, with a ranking of 16th in the world, leads the Chinese charge and is holding its own alongside many bigger and more well-established names such as Toyota, Nissan and Jungheinrich.
The author of this newest world ranking list is industry expert Wolfgang Degenhard, who warns against underestimating the Chinese. He believes that China is no longer an emerging market and has grown into a "real industrial nation that must be taken seriously". The Chinese have a growing number of certified large manufacturing facilities, many CE-approved and producing increasingly high-tech units.
Hangcha (literal translation: ‘the fork’) produces fork trucks for UK firm Samuk, whose high quality, value for money vehicles have proved increasingly popular in recent years. The Samuk/Hangcha partnership manufactures and distributes a proven range of counterbalance and warehouse trucks throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe and last year opened a $150 million state-of-the-art Chinese factory, capable of producing 80,000 trucks per single shift, five days a week.
Degenhard believes that the only area in which the Chinese have still to improve is after-sales and service coverage. Samuk already has this covered: one of the reasons its partnership with Hangcha works so well is Samuk’s solid reputation for after-sales service and the wide coverage of its dealer network. Samuk Chairman Sir Neville Bowman-Shaw puts it succinctly: "Our dealers are all local to their customers and understand their problems. They’ll take a service call at any time, night or day, to provide the very best after-sales support."
"Hangcha is China’s fastest-growing and most successful, exclusive, high volume 1.0-5.0 tonnes lift truck company," enthuses Sir Neville. "They manufacture Samuk trucks to the highest international standards and in the few short years since their introduction to the UK, Samuk’s products have gained a worthy reputation as top quality, economical, uncomplicated workhorses."
Samuk trucks up to 12 tonnes at 600mm load centre, are designed to offer laptop-free maintenance and are easily serviced by mechanical engineers, without the need for complicated laptop technology. But improvements in Chinese design and production capabilities are evident and the basic design hides advanced engines and hydraulics, providing reduced emissions as well as quieter and smoother operation. Clearly, Hangcha’s steady progress up the world rankings, fuelling Samuk’s continuing success, remains well on target with no signs of slowing.