Toyota Material Handling Europe and Manitou End French Distribution Agreement

Toyota Material Handling Europe (TMHE), Mjölby, Sweden, and Manitou, Ancenis, France, have jointly decided not to renew the exclusive distribution agreement for Toyota-branded industrial material-handling in France as of January 1st, 2013. Both groups believe that the current business model is no longer adapted to further market development, and want to enforce a clearer brand strategy that will be consistent across Europe.

TMHE and Manitou plan to pursue their ongoing cooperation, while exploring new opportunities and preserving business continuity for their common dealers and end-customers in the French market.

“We’re very appreciative of what Manitou has built for the Toyota brand in France, but we now need to deploy our pan-European model for branding and distribution with one integrated organization in charge for both Toyota and BT brands,” said Hakan Dahllöf, TMHE president. “I am convinced it will represent a great business platform for the French dealers who will naturally fit in. Even if our business arrangement with Manitou changes, we still very much value the relationship moving forward, and will continue to explore opportunities together.”

Jean-Christophe Giroux, Manitou president and CEO added: “Toyota has helped us grow a unique expertise in industrial material-handling, and recognize the value of that segment alongside agriculture and construction. We now wish to expand this model across other geographies, leveraging a single product range under our own Manitou brand, to be launched early February 2012 abroad, and progressively in 2013 in France. We believe our differentiated positioning from Toyota will not compromise our ability to remain a true partner to TMHE, which we will continue to support in many capacities.”

Business will continue as usual throughout Dec. 31, 2012, with no expected impact for both organizations, dealers or customers.