According to the Wall Street Journal, Germany-based Kion Group AG, a forklift truck manufacturer, plans to expand its production at its plant in Summerville, South Carolina. The move is designed to avoid the U.S’s 25% tariff levied on forklifts imported from China.
According to an interview with Kion’s CFO Anke Groth in CFO Journal, WSJ’s newsletter, “about half of the 3,000 vehicles that the Frankfurt-based company sells in the U.S. each year come from China, where Kion operates two forklift manufacturing facilities.”
Kion has about 3,000 employees in the U.S. Its Dematic business sells supply chain automation technology. “It is worth exploring ways to expand our production in the U.S. to avoid tariffs,” Ms. Groth said. “The company is searching for additional U.S.-based suppliers that could provide its factory in Summerville with parts.”
The U.S. tariffs cost Kion a few million euros last year, Groth told the publication. “In 2019, this amount will be higher.”