By almost every measure, 2021 was a growth year for lift truck suppliers compared to the pandemic-constrained 2020, when some industries were shut down for part of the year and others put equipment investments on hold. Last year certainly had continued challenges, mainly in terms of component supply problems impacting the production of lift trucks, but the demand side proved favorable, as shutdowns lifted and many industries were in need of lift trucks to keep up with customer demands and fulfillment operations.
That improved demand environment last year boosted sales for the companies on Modern’s annual Top 20 Lift Truck Suppliers list. As it is every year, our list is based on previous year revenue figures we obtain by surveying top suppliers, so this year, it is based on 2021 worldwide figures. The aggregate 2021 revenue total for this year’s list topped $50.9 billion, up from the roughly $42.8 billion in 2020, for a robust growth rate of 18.8% for the year.
That growth curve is consistent with other industry research. For example, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), which tracks North American sales data among its members, said earlier this year that sales of new lift truck units in North America across classes 1 through 5 reached 347,677 units in 2021, a sharp rise from the 230,134 units sold across those classes in North America during 2020.
Our annual Top 20 Lift Truck Suppliers list is based on revenue figures obtained from a questionnaire (see the box at the end of this article for more on our criteria). While not a comprehensive study of the lift truck market, it does indicate a return to growth as end users look to enhance their materials handling capacities.
Pent up demand from the early stages of the pandemic likely accelerated the market in 2021, though it remains to be seen to what extent present headwinds including inflation and geopolitical instability will impact the market for the rest of 2022, and subsequently, for our next list.
Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) remained at the No. 1 spot on our Top 20 list. The company, which includes the Toyota and Raymond brands, saw its revenue rise from $12.67 billion for its fiscal 2020 to $15.92 billion in fiscal 2021—a 25.7% increase. The company sold 282,492 units across all lift truck classes in its fiscal year 2021.
In company news last year, Toyota Material Handling announced in December 2021 the retirement of Jeff Rufener as president and CEO of TMH, naming Bill Finerty as TMH’s president and CEO effective at the start of 2022. Earlier this year, TMH introduced 22 new electric lift truck models, calling it the largest product launch in its history. Meanwhile, the company’s Raymond brand marked a major milestone in 2022, celebrating 100 years in business.
At No. 2, KION’s 2021 worldwide revenue, based on its figures for industrial trucks and services from its 2021 fiscal year annual report (KION reported its fiscal 2021 in early March 2022), came to $7.37 billion (converted from Euros, based on the exchange rate at the end of 2021), up from the $6.92 billion in 2020 revenue reported to us last year.
In third place, Jungheinrich AG had revenue for 2021 of $5.51 billion, up from the $4.55 billion we listed for them last year. The company stated it sold 162,400 units in 2021. In the Americas, where Jungheinrich products are distributed under Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas Group, the group introduced a new series of Jungheinrich wide-chassis pantograph reach trucks last August.
Lift truck classes include:
Since primarily classes one through five are used in materials handling applications inside the four walls, Modern has only specified those on our supplier table.
Mitsubishi Logisnext stayed in fourth place on our list, with 2021 revenue of $4.04 billion, up from $3.78 billion the previous year. The company sold 103,000 units last year, it reported to us.
Last year, Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas Group and Kalmar entered a supply agreement for the Americas whereby Kalmar will produce and supply a line of Class 5 pneumatic tire forklifts under the Mitsubishi forklift truck brand for the group. In other alliance moves by the Americas group, last year it partnered with Phantom Auto, a leading provider of interoperable remote operation software, to enable remote operation of certain unmanned tuggers and forklift models. Last year, the group also teamed up with Powerfleet on a factory-installed telematics option for customers in North America.
Crown Equipment stays solidly in fifth place with $4.01 billion in fiscal year 2021 revenue, up from $3.62 billion the previous year.
No. 6 Hyster-Yale reported $3.07 billion in 2021 revenue, up from $2.81 billion in revenue in 2020. The company sold approximately 94,900 units in 2021, up from 85,500 units in 2020.
In the first quarter of 2021, the company’s Nuvera fuel cell subsidiary sold the majority of its ownership in OneH2 for a gain of $4.6 million. Overall, Hyster-Yale stated its objective remains consistent: to “transform the way the world moves materials from port to home by being a leading, globally integrated designer, manufacturer and marketer of a complete range of lift truck solutions offering the lowest cost of ownership and the best overall value.”
|North American brands||World
|1||Toyota Industries Corporation||1||$12,671||$15,923||25.70%||Toyota, Raymond||Kariya, Aichi, Japan|
|2||KION Group AG||2||$6,924||$7,376||6.50%||Linde, STILL, Baoli||Frankfurt, Germany|
|3||Jungheinrich AG||3||$4,550||$5,513||21.20%||Sold in NA by Mitsubishi Logisnext America||Hamburg, Germany|
|4||Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd.||4||$3,786||$4,044||6.80%||UniCarriers, Mitsubishi, CAT,
Barrett, Jungheinrich (NA only)
|5||Crown Equipment Corp.||5||$3,620||$4,010||10.80%||Crown||New Bremen, Ohio|
|6||Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.||6||$2,812||$3,075||9.40%||Hyster, Yale, Nuvera, Bolzoni||Cleveland, Ohio|
|7||Anhui Forklift Truck Group Co., Ltd.||7||$1,930||$2,409||24.80%||Heli, CHL||Hefei, Anhui, China|
|8||Hangcha Group Co., Ltd.||8||$1,268||$2,273||79.30%||HC, Hangcha||Hangzhou, China|
|9||Doosan Industrial Vehicle||10||$904||$1,351||49.40%||Doosan||Seoul, South Korea|
|10||Manitou||9||$1,252||$1,252*||0%||Manitou||Ancenis Cedex, France|
|11||CLARK Material Handling Co.||11||$705||$812||15.20%||Clark||Seoul, South Korea|
|12||EP Equipment, Ltd.||16||$359||$652||81.60%||Big Joe||Hangzhou, China|
|13||Komatsu Ltd.||12||$605||$605*||0%||Komatsu||Tokyo, Japan|
|14||Hyundai Material Handling||13||$406||$441||8.60%||Hyundai||Seoul, South Korea|
|15||Combilift Ltd.||15||$366||$388||6.00%||Combilift||Monaghan, Ireland|
|16||Lonking Forklift Co., Ltd.||14||$343||$343*||0%||Lonking||Shanghai, China|
|17||Noblelift Intelligent Equipment||17||$150||$240||60.00%||Noblelift||Changxing, China|
|18||Liuzhou LiuGong Forklift Co., Ltd||18||$94||$94*||0%||LiuGong||Liuzhou City, China|
|19||Godrej & Boyce||20||$60.6||$86.8||43.20%||Not available in North America||Mumbai, India|
|20||Hubtex Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG||19||$72||$72*||0%||Hubtex||Fulda, Germany|
Figures based on currency exchange rates as of 12/31/21.
* 2021 revenues were not available by press time.
If a supplier gave an updated dollar figure for 2020 revenue, we used the updated figure.
Source: Modern Materials Handling
|Company||Class 1||Class 2||Class 3||Class 4||Class 5|
|1||Toyota Industries Corporation||x||x||x||x||x|
|2||KION Group AG||x||x||x||x||x|
|4||Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd.||x||x||x||x||x|
|5||Crown Equipment Corp.||x||x||x||x||x|
|6||Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.||x||x||x||x||x|
|7||Anhui Forklift Truck Group Co., Ltd.||x||x||x||x||x|
|8||Hangcha Group Co., Ltd.||x||x||x||x||x|
|9||Doosan Industrial Vehicle||x||x||x||x||x|
|11||CLARK Material Handling Co.||x||x||x||x||x|
|12||EP Equipment, Ltd.||x||x||x||x|
|14||Hyundai Material Handling||x||x||x||x|
|16||Lonking Forklift Co., Ltd.||x||x|
|17||Noblelift Intelligent Equipment||x||x||x|
|18||Liuzhou LiuGong Forklift Co., Ltd||x||x||x|
|19||Godrej & Boyce||x||x||x||x||x|
|20||Hubtex Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG||x||x|
In seventh place, Anhui Forklift Truck Group’s revenues increased from $1.93 billion in 2020 to $2.4 billion in 2021, representing a nearly 25% gain. The company, which has its North American headquarters in Atlanta, sold 274,815 units worldwide in 2021.
Coming in at eighth place is Hangcha Group, which reported 2021 revenue of $2.27 billion, up sharply from the $1.26 billion we listed them at last year, when their response was not received by press time and we used the previous year’s listing figure.
Doosan comes in at No. 9 with 2021 revenue of $1.35 billion, up from $904 million in 2020. That robust gain was enough to move them up one spot from last year.
Rounding out the Top 10 is Manitou, whose 2020 revenue from lift truck sales was not available to us at press time. As with other vendors who did not respond in time, or whose annual report does not clearly break out 2021 revenue related to lift truck sales, we listed them based on their previous year figure available to us. For Manitou, that was 2020’s $1.2 billion.
The second half of the Top 20 had some of the strongest performers, percentage-wise, on our list this year.
Clark Material Handling reported 2021 revenue of $812 million, up from its 2020 revenue of $705 million, representing a 15.2% gain. In recent company news, Clark released its
S-Series global three-wheel electric lift truck in 2021, and earlier this year, introduced its TWLi truck, a lithium-powered, three-wheel forklift.
Jumping up to No. 12 this year is EP Equipment, which offers the Big Joe brand of forklifts. The company grew rapidly, from $359 million in 2020 sales to $652 million for 2021, a nearly 82% rise in revenue. The company reports it sold 245,000 powered industrial trucks in 2021.
In a comment to Modern in our questionnaire, Dan Rosskamm, president of Big Lift LLC (a business unit of EP), noted that Big Joe’s product line has expanded into autonomous and lithium-powered units, while its internal attention on materials sourcing helped it when it came to having units ready to sell when market demand bounced back.
“I am really proud of our team for largely anticipating and mitigating many of the supply chain issues, which has enabled us to accelerate our growth in very challenging macro-environment,” Rosskamm stated.
Coming in at No. 13 this year is Komatsu, whose information was unavailable at press time, so we list them at the $705 million figure provided to us last year.
Hyundai Material Handling, a subsidiary of Hyundai Genuine Co., had a strong growth year, coming in at No. 14. Its 2021 revenue was $441 million, up from the $406 million we listed for them last year. In company news in the Americas in 2021, Hyundai appointed Lewis Byers as vice president and COO of Hyundai Material Handling forklift division, reporting to JY Kim, president and CEO of Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas.
At No.15 with more growth is Combilift, which generated 2021 revenue of $388 million, up from $366 million in 2020. The company, which has U.S. headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., sold 6,919 units in 2021, up from 6,477 units in 2020.
In 2021, Combilift launched its Aisle Master OP truck targeted at the e-commerce industry, though the company added that it experienced “exceptional demand” in 2021 across all its sectors, including warehousing, multi-directional trucks and oversized or heavy load needs. The company continues its policy of investing 7% of turnover back into research and development.
Longking Forklift Co., which did not respond by press time, is listed at $343 million in revenue, the figure we had for them last year. That keeps them 16th on list.
A new entrant to our Top 20 last year, Noblelift enjoyed a growth year to retain its spot at No. 17. The company reported 2021 revenue of $240 million, a strong 60% rise from $150 million in 2020. Noblelift sold 123,000 powered trucks across all classes in 2021.
Coming in at 18th is Luigong with revenue of $94 million. Its product line includes electric forklifts, internal combustion forklifts, tow tractors and automatic guided vehicles.
Rising to No. 19 is Godrej & Boyce, which reported 2021 revenue of $86.8 million, up from $60.6 million in 2020. The diversified company’s Godrej Materials Handling business unit is said to be the largest lift truck supplier in India. The company states it sold 4,160 powered industrial trucks in 2021.
Hubtex, whose revenue listing remains unchanged at $72 million, rounds out our Top 20.
Analysts that track the lift truck market have noted that 2021 was a strong rebound year for lift truck sales, compared to the pandemic-constrained market in 2020. Additionally, there is reason for long-term optimism, since major lift truck suppliers offer autonomous models and alternative motive power choices that will suit long-term user interests in automation and sustainability.
Interact Analysis, for example, forecast in late 2021 that the lift truck market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% globally from 2021 through 2030, an increase from its previous forecast.
Macro-level economic conditions like inflation, war, pandemics are difficult to predict, but it’s a good bet that materials will still need to be moved, and that new and additional lift truck assets, more digitized and automated than those in the current installed based, will be a big part of meeting that need.
To be eligible for Modern’s annual Top 20 lift truck suppliers ranking, companies must manufacture and sell lift trucks in at least one of the Industrial Truck Association’s seven truck classes: electric motor rider; electric motor hand trucks; internal combustion engine; pneumatic tire; electric and internal combustion engine tow tractors; and rough terrain lift trucks.
Rankings are based on worldwide revenue from powered industrial trucks during each company’s most recent fiscal year. Revenue figures submitted in foreign currency are calculated using the Dec. 31, 2021 exchange rate. Percentage changes for certain vendors may vary from figures or percentages in annual reports or other sources, due to currency conversion issues and timing.