Celebrating 40 years of forklift sales in Australia

Counter-balance forklift truck supplier, Toyota Material Handling, will this month celebrate its 40th anniversary of sales in Australia.

Toyota sold its first forklift truck in Australia in April 1968, and Toyota Material Handling now sells over 6000 units a year in Australia. It has led the national counter-balance forklift truck market uninterrupted for 21 years.

Toyota is the world’s leading materials handling brand, with more than 50 years’ experience in forklift trucks. The corporation launched its first commercial forklift model, the Toyota Forklift LA, in Japan in March 1956. Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) is now the world’s largest manufacturer of materials handling equipment

. An industry-leading commitment to research and development has allowed TICO to unveil new products and services every year since 1956.

Toyota began forklift truck exports in 1958 and sold its first forklift in Australia in 1968. The president of Toyota Material Handling Australia, Steve Harper, said the 40-year anniversary of sales in Australia was an important milestone in both the history of Toyota forklift trucks and the development of TMHA as a business.

“From the very start, Toyota forklift machines have reflected the vision and ingenuity of Toyota people and their drive to put the customer first,” he said.

“Success really is about putting the customer first. That was a key factor when Toyota commenced forklift truck sales in Australia in 1968 and applies equally well today.

“Toyota thinks about the needs of any manufacturing or warehousing operation, how to help it improve productivity and how to optimise conditions so forklift operators are comfortable and efficient. These issues are at the heart of what Toyota does as a forklift manufacturer. We would not be the company we are today without our focus on the end-user,” Harper said.

“The Toyota way of working and thinking is critical in this process. The company is admired the world over for the Toyota Production System, which inspires team members to optimise quality, constantly improve processes and eliminate natural waste.

“Without the ongoing loyalty of our customers, we would not be where we are today,” said Harper. “TMHA looks forward to its 50th anniversary of sales in Australia in 2018, as well as delivering ever-stronger solutions to industry.”

Toyota Material Handling Milestones

1956 : Toyota Industrial Equipment production begins in Japan

1958 : First export of Toyota forklifts from Japan

1968 : First Toyota forklift imported into Australia

1985 : 500,000th Toyota forklift produced

1995 : One millionth Toyota forklift produced

1996: 25,000th Toyota forklift sold into Australia

1997 : Sales of Toyota forklifts exceed US$1,092 million

1999 : Toyota’s worldwide sales and supply network covers 169 countries and 699 Dealers

1999 : 30,000th Toyota forklift sold into Australia

1999 : Toyota in Australia wins National Occupational Health and Safety “Solutions Award” for its swing-down gas bottle bracket

2000 : 1.3 millionth Toyota forklift produced

2000 : Toyota acquires both BT Industries, manufacturer of BT Lift Trucks, and Raymond forklifts

2001 : Toyota combines all its lift truck operations in a single business area called Toyota Material Handling

2003 : Toyota’s worldwide sales and supply network covers 170 countries, 80 distributors and 675 sales outlets

2003 : Toyota Industries Corporation Australia Pty Ltd (TICA) established in Australia to distribute and sell Toyota Industrial Equipment

2004 : Toyota Industries Corporation Australia (TICA) wins TICO’s 2004 Global Excellence Award

2005 : Toyota Industries Corporation Australia (TICA) becomes authorised distributor of Raymond forklifts

2006 : Toyota Industries Corporation Australia (TICA) integrates the BT range of warehouse forklifts, thereby giving its customer base the most comprehensive range of products in the industry

2006 : Toyota 8-Series 1.0 – 3.5 tonne forklift released in Australia

2007 : Toyota retains its position as the world’s largest supplier of forklifts, according to industry magazine Logistik Journal. Toyota tops the magazine’s World’s Top 20 Lift Truck Suppliers list with US$8.814 billion in worldwide forklift sales in 2006 and worldwide sales of 190,000 units.

2007 : Toyota Industries Corporation Australia (TICA) changes its name to become Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA).

2007 : Toyota celebrates market leadership in the Australian counter-balance forklift market for 21 consecutive years.

2008 : Toyota Material Handling celebrates 40 years of retailing the Toyota Industrial Equipment brand of products within Australia.

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