As Merlo celebrates its 50th anniversary, the telehandler manufacturer has revealed plans to grow market share in Australia, according to Australian General Manager, Wayne Munce.
Wayne says the brand has spent the past six months increasing capacity in Australia, in readiness for business growth.
“We’ve moved our head office to Sydney and opened a second parts warehouse as part of that facility, so we now have fully stocked warehouses in both Perth and Sydney, each carrying a six month parts supply. We’ve also employed a number of new staff who will offer great support to our dealer network, and our Sydney dealer has relocated to bigger premises to support Merlo customers.
“These investments have been about building a strong foundation so we can support our growing customer base with not only high quality equipment but quick access to parts and exceptional technical expertise,” Wayne said.
Merlo offers a range of models that suit the needs of the agriculture and construction markets, as well as the rental market.
“What Merlo offers customers is 50 years of very stringent manufacturing experience. Unlike most manufacturers, we design and manufacture a lot of the key elements of the machines in-house. The electrics, cab, load systems and more are all designed directly by Merlo and manufactured at our own facilities in Italy. 90% of the telehandler is manufactured by Merlo. This means outstanding build quality – there’s true, tested product compatibility, and everything really works in harmony.”
The growth in Merlo’s Australian presence comes at a time when infrastructure programs are growing across the Asia Pacific region.
“Australian businesses have an important role in infrastructure development across the region, particularly in mining and agriculture across Asia. There are also plenty of local projects including tunnels and rail lines where telehandlers will be in strong demand. We’re anticipating solid market growth and appetite for a proven, high quality product,” Wayne said.
The Merlo brand has an established reputation across Europe. “The telehandler has a much higher penetration rate in Europe than here in Australia, but we are starting to catch up and Merlo already has a loyal customer base of operators who have seen the benefits it can deliver.
“Now, more business operators are starting to see the value a telehandler can bring to their operations through its sheer versatility. From shifting hay bales to moving soil or running an auger for posts, a telehandler really offers a great deal of flexibility and adaptability – certainly more than a single purpose machine.”
In a show of commitment to the Australian market, Merlo founder Amilcare Merlo, his son Paolo Merlo, and a number of technical directors from the Italian manufacturing plant recently travelled to Australia to attend the Hire and Rental Industry Association Convention.
“They were here to talk directly to customers about what their future needs might look like and to better understand the Australian market context. We had great feedback from customers that they are very happy with the product, including the very generous cab and the exceptional safety features.
Australian safety requirements are very stringent, and Merlo is serious about meeting and exceeding them. Certified engineers are sent from Australia to verify safety compliance before new models ever leave the factory, which is very important for many of our customers.
“The brand has always had an approach built around innovation and safety, and that’s where we are continuing to focus.”