We analyze the global market share, market size, and M&A of the forklift truck industry. We also provide an overview and trends of major forklift companies such as KION, Mitsubishi LogiNext (formerly Nichiyu Mitsubishi), Toyota Industries Corporation, Hyster-Yale and Jungheinrich.
Global market share of the forklift industry
Using each forklift manufacturer’s FY2020 sales as the numerator and the market size described below as the denominator, the global market share of the forklift industry in 2020 is calculated to be Toyota Industries Corporation of Japan in first place, followed by KION of Germany and Jungheinrich of Germany.
- No.1 Toyota Industries Corporation 19.7%
- No.2 KION Group 12.7%
- No.3 Jungheinrich 8.4%
- No.4 Crown Equipment 6.9%
- No.5 Mitsubishi LogiNext 6.8%
- No.6 Hyster-Yale 5.2%
- No.7 Heli 3.6%
- No.8 Hangcha 3.2%
- No.9 Doosan 1.4%
- No.10 Lonking Forklift 0.7%
- No.11 Manitou 0.5%
- No.12 HHI 0.4%
In 2020, Japan’s Toyota Industries Corporation continues to hold the top spot after 2019, trailing second-place KION. Toyota Industries Corporation has acquired Vanderlande Industries and Bastian Solutions to strengthen its material handling business.
The second-ranked company, KION, has strengthened its material handling business by acquiring Dematic. Weichai Power of China is the leading shareholder of KION.
Third-ranked Jungheinrich is also looking to strengthen its automation solutions with the acquisition of ISI Automation and Agencia Alemana.
We calculated the market share of the forklift truck industry based on data published by research companies and other sources, assuming a market size of $54 billion in 2020. The data used for reference is as follows According to research firm GM Insights, the global market for forklift trucks is estimated to be worth over $50 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% between 2020 and 2026. According to research firm Grand View Research, the market will be worth $49.6 billion and $54.4 billion in 2019 and 2020, respectively, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.1% through 2027.
Key M&As in the Forklift Industry
- 2006, KKR and Goldman Sachs acquire KION from Linde, a major German industrial gas company
- 2011, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) acquires forklift truck subsidiaries from Nissan Motor and Hitachi Construction Machinery to form UniCarrier.
- 2012, Weichai Power, a Chinese engine manufacturer affiliated with Shandong Heavy Industry, acquires a majority stake of KION
- 2012, NACCO spun off its forklift truck business as Hyster-Yale
- 2012, Toyota Industries Corporation acquired Cascade Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of forklift attachments in the United States
- 2015, Unicarrier is jointly acquired by Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift and its parent company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
A Practical Guide to Logistics: An Introduction to Transport, Warehousing, Trade and Distribution
Warehouse Management: A Complete Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse
Leading forklift manufacturers
KION is a German forklift truck manufacturer that was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2012 after KKR and Goldman Sachs acquired it from the Linde Group, a German industrial gas giant, in 2006. The largest shareholder of KION is a Chinese engine manufacturer Weichai Power, which is part of Shandong Heavy Industry. KION acquired materials handling giant Dematic in 2016. Key forklift brands are Linde Material Handling, STILL, Fenwick, OM STILL, Baoli, and Voltas (a major local forklift manufacturer in India).
Toyota Industries Corporation
Toyota Industries Corporation is the origin of Toyota Motor Corporation. In 2012, it acquired Cascade Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of forklift attachments in the U.S. In 2014, it acquired Taiwan-based forklift manufacturer Tailift (Taiwan). In 2017, it acquired Vanderlande Industries, a major player in the material handling industry.
Hyster-Yale is a major forklift manufacturer in the United States. In Japan, the company operates as Sumitomo Nacco in partnership with Sumitomo Heavy Industries. The company was spun off from Nacco Materials Handling Group in 2012 and became an independent company, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling. The company operates globally under the Hyster, Yale, and UTILEV brands.
A major German forklift manufacturer. Owned by the Jungheinrich family. The company’s non-voting shares are listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Mitsubishi LogiNext.
The company was created through the merger of the forklift division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is strong in engine-powered forklifts, and Nichiyu, which is strong in battery-powered forklifts, and later announced a business merger with UniCarrier in 2015, becoming Mitsubishi LogiNext.
Founded in 1958 and based in Hefei, Anhui, it is the largest forklift manufacturer in China. It is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Its forklift brand is Heli.
A medium-sized forklift truck manufacturer in China, a subsidiary of Lonking Holdings Limited, a major construction equipment manufacturer.
A major French forklift manufacturer. It has a partnership with Toyota Industries Corporation in France. The company is listed on the Euronext stock exchange.