Kion building new plant in China

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Kion Group AG is building a new plant in China to manufacture its Dematic Multishuttle racks, welded components for automated guided vehicle systems, and conveyor belts and systems.

The plant will be adjacent to Kion’s new counterbalance truck plant, Jinan, Shandong province, which is slated for completion in early 2022.

Construction of the plant will commence before the end of the year, with the site set to begin production in the first quarter of 2023. The production facility will cover an area of approximately 301,000 square feet (28,000 m²) and will include a dedicated TechCenter for customer visits. It will employ 300 workers.

The company says it plans to spend almost €40 million on the project.

A growing market

“China has recovered swiftly from the coronavirus crisis and remains one of the fastest-growing material handling markets in the world,” says Gordon Riske, CEO of the Kion Group.

“For the supply chain solution market in APAC we anticipate an annual growth rate of 14 percent for the near future.”

The market environment offers excellent opportunities for growth. E-commerce is booming in China. According to a forecast published by eMarketer, the country will generate €2.4 trillion in e-commerce sales this year. This corresponds to almost 57 percent of the global total. And it will become the first country in history to transact more than half of its retail sales digitally.

“As a manufacturer of warehouse technology and automation solutions, we benefit greatly from the e-commerce boom. We therefore want to make even better use of the potential of this important market and significantly expand our position as a leading supplier of intralogistics equipment in China”, says Hasan Dandashly, member of the executive board of Kion Group and responsible for the Supply Chain Solutions segment.

Kion in China

Kion Group companies have had a presence in the Chinese market for many years, making Kion not only the country’s leading foreign provider of industrial trucks and warehouse technology, but also number three within China (measured by revenue). Before the new plant begins hiring KION Group has 4,600 of its nearly 39,000 employees in China.

Linde Material Handling started production in China as part of a joint venture in Xiamen, Fujian province, almost 30 years ago, before acquiring all the shares in that company in 1999. Kion also opened a second warehouse truck plant, mainly manufacturing Linde trucks, close to its site in Xiamen in spring 2020. The Group invested around €13 million in this plant.

Baoli has been part of the Kion Group since 2009, and manufactures industrial trucks at its site in Jingjiang, in Jiangsu province. Dematic has been manufacturing systems for the Chinese market and APAC in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, since 2006.