Nissan and Hitachi to merge forklift businesses

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Nissan is to merge its forklift business with that of Hitachi Construction Machinery in a move designed to give the new business, to be named UniCarriers Corporation, the scale to compete more effectively in the global market.

The deal expected to be completed by Spring next year. The new business will be operated mainly by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, which was established in July 2009 as a public-private partnership that provides financial, technological and management support for next-generation businesses.

As shareholders in the new company, Hitachi Construction Machinery and Nissan will continue to support its growth by providing technology or other business know-how and engaging in joint development projects.

Nissan said that many Japanese forklift manufacturers did not have sufficient scale to gain market share even with their technological prowess, which makes strategic mergers, acquisitions and restructuring vital for them to capture business in new, growing markets.

“Amid this market environment, the new company will, while sustaining and developing existing business, aim to gain significant market share in growth markets where the competitive landscape is still in flux. This will be supported by intensively allocating management resources in emerging markets, such as the ASEAN countries, and in sectors such as environmentally-friendly technologies.

“The new company will also seek to lead a gradual restructuring of the entire forklift industry, including both Japan-based and overseas forklift manufacturers over the mid- to long-term, to grow into one of the leading companies in this sector globally.”

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