Tata Group company Voltas and German firm KION Group have announced the formation of a joint venture in India for the development, manufacture, marketing and servicing of forklift trucks and warehousing equipment.

Voltas's material handling operations will also be integrated into the new joint venture company, called Voltas Materials Handling (VMH). Voltas was advised by KPMG on the transaction.

With the KION Group holding a majority share, VMH is expected to start operations in April 2011. The company, however, did not give information on a new plant or the planned investments.

“KION has technological leadership in the forklift truck business, so the partnership will help VMH further consolidate its leading position in India. The Voltas brand will continue to expand its product range, particularly in the warehouse equipment sector. The partnership will ensure long-term sustainability,” said Mr Sanjay Johri, Managing Director, Voltas Ltd.

As the KION Group's sixth brand globally, VMH will have a product range that includes diesel/LPG and electric trucks with load capacities of 1.5 to 16 tonnes. It will have twenty-five branches and dealerships all over India.

Mr Gordon Riske, CEO, KION Group, said, “As part of our long-term strategy, we intend to further invest within this joint venture to take full advantage of the potential of the Indian market. The joint venture represents a significant step toward expanding our position in one of the world's most promising growth markets.”

Up till now, KION had been supplying forklift trucks to India through its Linde Material Handling and STILL brands. The €3.5 billion KION Group, with its Linde, STILL, Fenwick, OM, and Baoli brands, is the European market leader in industrial trucks and the global number two in the industry.

(This article was published on March 22, 2011)
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