Crown Equipment Corp. has decided to close its manufacturing facility in Galway, Ireland, and move production from that plant to a site in Suzhou, a city located about 90 minutes west of Shanghai, China. Construction of the new facility will begin after the State Council of China approves an application for a business license.
The new facility will manufacture and export several of the smaller models in Crown's product line. Crown, the world's largest maker of electric lift trucks and the sixth largest manufacturer of material handling equipment, will also establish a retail operation at the site to provide sales and service support to the local market.
It's not hard to figure out what's prompting the move. The Shanghai area is growing rapidly, and the Port of Shanghai is expected to surpass Hong Kong as the world's busiest port in several years. Says Jim Moran, Crown's senior vice president: "We needed to establish a physical presence in China in order to further improve Crown's ability to compete in the global market and to position ourselves to participate in the rapidly growing Chinese market."