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Manitou, which has been manufacturing mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) since 1992 in Europe, is entering the North American market with five articulating boom models. Telescopic booms are expected to arrive later this year.
Laurent Bonnaure, Manitou executive vice president, global sales and marketing, calls the move a natural progression of the company’s North American footprint, which includes its telehandler line — marketed to both the construction and agriculture markets here—along with its 2008 acquisition of Gehl.
“We plan to introduce these machines slowly,” Bonnaure says. “We want to understand the local and regional rental houses, and once we’ve got a clear strategy and a clear service plan, we’ll take it national.” Bonnaure also noted that the U.S. MEWP market is the largest in the world, and “to be successful here you have to have a machine designed for the United States, with a strong service platform.”
Adds Mark Hanson, regional vice president of Manitou Group, and CEO of Manitou North America: “Right now we’re working with dealers closer to our plants and facilities in the Midwest, along with dealers in western Canada and on the west coast of the United States.” Hanson, who has been with Manitou since the beginning of the year, comes to the company with experience from other MEWP manufacturers.
The initial Manitou line includes two electric models, the AETJ 49 and AETJ 43, and three diesel models, the ATJ 46, ATJ 46+ and MAN’GO 33. On display at The Rental Show this week was the ATJ 46, which has a platform height of 45 feet 11 inches, and is powered by a 24-horsepower Kubota engine. The model has an up-and-over reach of 27 feet 3 inches at a height of 24 feet 2 inches.
Other models in the debuting lineup include:
According to Bonnaure, the public/private French company is the fourth largest global manufacturer of MEWPs, excluding scissors, and that one out of every four telehandlers is a Manitou. The company saw a record high 1.8 billion in sales revenues during 2017, and has 1,500 dealerships worldwide. Currently, 46 percent of its revenues come from construction equipment sales, with another 27 percent from agricultural equipment, and the remainder coming from other industrial sectors.
The company’s facilities in the United States include plants in Waco, Texas (telehandlers and articulated loaders); Yankton, South Dakota (telehandlers and compact track loaders) and Madison, South Dakota (skid steers and compact loaders). If successful with its MEWP product launch, the company expects to also manufacture those machines here.