Lift-truck makers go abroad

British manufacturers are switching to Continental components to cut costs as the high value of the pound continues to bite. Speaking at an international lift-truck show in Birmingham last week, a senior executive of Jungheinrich said 90% of parts for its UK manufacturing operations are now being sourced from abroad. ‘We are trying to purchase […]

British manufacturers are switching to Continental components to cut costs as the high value of the pound continues to bite.

Speaking at an international lift-truck show in Birmingham last week, a senior executive of Jungheinrich said 90% of parts for its UK manufacturing operations are now being sourced from abroad.

‘We are trying to purchase as much as possible from abroad to cut costs at our UK plant,’ said Axel Grimmer, marketing director of Jungheinrich, which has a plant in Leighton Buzzard.

‘Local content for the lift trucks built at Leighton Buzzard is down to about 10%,’ he said. The Bedfordshire plant was bought by Jungheinrich two years ago. It exports 70% of production.

‘We came in just at the wrong time,’ Grimmer admitted. ‘If it goes on too long, we could build this truck somewhere else,’ he said. ‘We don’t want to, but it’s an option.’

Meanwhile, JCB, which exports more than 70% of its product, is trying to cut down on the British content in its component supplies.