Forklift Report – 3rd Quarter 2019

US real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the third quarter.  The first and second quarters saw GDP growth of 3.1% and 2.0% respectively (source: Bureau of Economic Analysis).

Corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments increased $4.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $75.8 billion in the second quarter (source: Bureau of Economic Analysis).

According to the NAM's Manufacturer's Outlook Survey US manufacturers' sentiment has dropped for the last two quarters with 67.9% of respondents registering a positive outlook. 69.9% of respondents cite a shortage of skilled labor as their top concern.

Total worldwide orders for material handling equipment was down by 4.4% for the first three quarters of 2019 versus 2018. North American orders in particular were down 10.3% (source: Jungheinrich).

Goldman Sachs recently published their 2020 outlook and are expecting the global economic slowdown that began in early 2018 to end soon.  Goldman expects global economic growth to increase from 3.1% in 2019 to 3.4% in 2020.  And they note that this is an important inflection point from a period of slowing global growth to a period of expanding global growth, albeit a modest increase.

Following are notes taken from publicly traded forklift manufacturer's quarterly reports.  Some large forklift manufacturers such as Crown and Cat/Mitsu/Unicarriers are not publicly traded and so do not share financial or production information every quarter.

KION Group (manufacturer of Linde and Baoli forklifts)

  • 13.5% increase in incoming orders versus the third quarter 2018.  Kion's lift truck segment was down, however. new lift truck orders were down 4.4% versus the first three quarters of 2018. North American orders dropped 10.2% for the first three quarters versus the same period in 2018.
  • Year to date orders are up 2.6% over 2018.
  • Year to date net income is up 39% over 2018.

Hyster-Yale Group

  • Third quarter lift truck sales fell 2% to $725.3 million.  However, total year to date lift truck sales are up 5.5% and gross profit in the lift truck segment for the quarter is up as well.
  • Lift truck unit shipments in the Americas are down 8.8% in the third quarter of 2019 vs the third quarter 2018.  Year to date lift truck unit shipments are down 3.1% over 2018.
  • Revenues in the Americas increased primarily as a result of improved pricing put in place to offset material cost increases and tariffs. The increase, however, was mostly offset by lower unit volumes, primarily as a result of a continued shortage of component parts from certain key suppliers.


  • Incoming orders for the quarter were down 18.4% from 2018.  Year to date incoming orders were down 6.5%,  
  • Total revenue for the quarter was up 11% and year to date was up 10.1%
Please follow and like us: