SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — KION North America Corporation hosted a meeting for its dealer network on Oct. 25-27 in Charleston, S.C. There were more than 150 attendees representing 63 dealerships from throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico equaling 85 percent of the company’s dealer network.
On day one, attendees were taken on a private tour of KION North America’s facilities including its manufacturing plant and parts warehouse. Several facility upgrades have been made in the two years since the company’s last Charleston-based dealer meeting including the addition of new assembly and storage areas, a counterweight (CTW) roller system, the changeover to DC-powered torque tools, controlled monitoring and the soon-to-be-completed external covering for stock equipment. The plant tour was followed by a pig and oyster roast welcome dinner.
“We’ve been moving at such a fast pace over the last several years that we wanted to take the opportunity to not only acknowledge, but also to celebrate, where we started and how far we’ve come,” said Vincent Halma, president and CEO of KION North America.
The second day was dedicated to learning about new products and technologies which included additions to both the company’s Linde and Baoli product lines. Attendees also had the opportunity to test drive each of the new products along with some popular existing models.
The Linde Series 1346 is a stand-up electric counterbalanced truck with a load capacity ranging from 3,500-4,000 pounds. This truck is best suited for loading and unloading supplies from trucks and working in tight aisles.
In its economy segment, the company introduced the Baoli KBE25C (electric powered) and the Baoli KBG25C (LPG powered). Both cushion tire forklifts, they are designed to work in a variety of indoor environments. Their small size and sharp turn radius are ideal for working in tight spaces, loading docks and in high lift dock-to-stock operations.
Additionally, Dematic showcased the new iGo neo, a dual-use automated guided vehicle. This vehicle can operate as both a traditional walker-rider machine or as a fully automatic AGV. This new technology can improve overall picking performance by up to 30 percent. The iGo neo is powered by STILL and will be sold in North America by Dematic.
These additions complete their goal of the largest new product release in company and material handling industry in a single year, which they began with the introduction of five new volume and economy segment forklifts at ProMat in Chicago earlier this year.
“By adding eight new products to our product portfolio this year, we are one step closer to achieving our goal of transitioning from a premium, niche equipment provider to a full-line material handling equipment provider,” added Halma.
The meeting concluded on Friday with a captain’s choice golf tournament at Dunes West Golf Club. There were 15 teams comprised of over 60 participants. Brian Hutto, a regional sales manager with KION North America had a hole in one on the 169-yard 17th hole. Finishing in first place were Lonnie Boyd and Jon Paul Tabor of CE-DFW and Tim Woeste, KION North America key account manager.
KION North America Corporation
Headquartered in Summerville, S.C., KION North America Corporation is a member of the KION GROUP AG, one of the world's two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks. Their brand companies, Linde, Baoli and STILL serve the specific requirements of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets with a comprehensive and complementary product portfolio. Their products are known for their innovative technologies, low energy consumption and low operating costs.