Q2 2020 Forklift Industry Report

Globally, the number of new industrial trucks sold dropped 7% in the first half of 2020 compared with 2019.  The EMEA region (western Europe, eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa) had the largest decline in new orders, seeing a drop of 16.4 percent.  The Americas region (North, Central, and South America) were the next hardest hit with a decline in new orders of 8.9 percent.  The Asia-Pacific region actually saw an increase in orders of 1.4 percent. This gain was all due to China's economy snapping back sharply in the second quarter.

North America, specifically, saw a decline of new orders in the first half of 2020 of 7.2%.  The second quarter weighed heavily on that total with a decline of 16.8% in new orders in that quarter alone.

Following are notes from a few of the larger lift truck manufacturers in the world. Some lift truck manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries publishes financial results but offers limited information about their materials handling segment.  And other manufacturers such as Crown are privately held companies that do not publish financial results.

My guess is that much of the information below won't come as a surprise. The world is experiencing an economic shock and most companies' financial results will be the hard results of their efforts to maintain liquidity and adjust production for demand. 

Hyster - Yale Materials Handling - Cleveland, OH - world's sixth largest forklift manufacturer

  • Revenue for the 2nd quarter dropped 23.6% to $654.4 million.  Revenue for the  first half of the year dropped 14.8% to $1,440.1 million.
  • Operating profit for the 2nd quarter dropped 62%, while it went it up for the first half of the year by 9.89%.
  • Net income also had a big drop in the second quarter, plummeting 76%.  But for the first half of the year net income was only down by 2.5%. Hyster Yale attributes the smaller decline in profitability to price increases implemented in 2019.
  • Total lift truck shipments declined by 23.6% in the second quarter and  16.5% for the year so far. Lift truck shipments in Hyster Yale's Americas segment declined 9.7% during the second quarter and 2.0% for the year so far.
  • Lift truck shipments in Europe Middle East Africa were down a whopping 45% in the second quarter and 37.8% so far this year. The Japan Pacific Islands China segment didn't fare much better with declines of 31.6% in the second quarter and 31.3% during the whole first half of the year.
  • Hyster Yale's unit bookings fell by over half in the second quarter from 30.2 thousand units during the period last year to 14.3 thousand in the second quarter of 2020.

KION Group AG - KGX - Frankfurt am Main, Germany - 35,578 Full Time Employees - world's second largest lift truck manufacturer.

Summary Notes from 2nd Quarter 2020 financial statement

  • Order intake rose 11.6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2019 thanks to a boom in e-commerce business. The order increase came from KION's Supply Chains Solution business.  KION's Indutrial Trucks and Services segment had a drop of 13.9 percent in incoming orders.
  • Total revenues decreased by 10 percent
  • Net income in the second quarter was negative 17.1 million euros, versus positive 125.2 million euros for Q2 2019. Net income for quarters one and two combined was down 76.8 percent.
  • KION endured suspension of production at it's major plants in Europe, North and South America, India, and China.
  • KION Group has secured a 1 billion euro credit line to maintain liquidity during the uncertainty that the global pandemic continues to cause.

Jungheinrich Group AG - world's third largest lift truck manufacturer

  • Incoming orders down by 35% compared with the 2nd quarter 2019. For the first half of the year, 1st and 2nd quarters combined, were down 19.6% compared to the first half of 2019.
  • Profit for the second quarter matched the drop in orders, falling 35.6%. For the first half of the year, profit declined by 28.9%.

Toyota Heavy Industries - Toyota Material Handling - world's largest lift truck manufacturer - only first quarter results available at time of writing. And Toyota offers very limited information.

  • Lift truck sales dropped 13% in the first quarter with the majority of that percentage coming from Europe and North America.
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