12 February 2015, 00:00
Vincent Halma, previously Chief Sales Officer, becomes new CEO of KION North America
Brian Butler leaves the company at his own request
The KION Group is under new management in the key growth market of North America: Vincent Halma, previously Chief Sales Officer, takes over as CEO of KION North America with effect from today. He succeeds Brian Butler, who is leaving the KION Group at his own request in order to pursue new challenges outside the company.
"The KION Group is well placed to gain additional market share in North America. I would like to thank Brian Butler for his many years of successful work, which has been a considerable factor in helping us to lay these foundations in North America. In addition, Brian played a key role in the successful restructuring of the Linde Heavy Truck Division in Wales", said the Chief Executive Officer of the KION Group, Gordon Riske. "Establishing a much stronger presence for ourselves in the North American market is one of the key elements of our Strategy 2020. Vincent Halma can count on an excellent team as we strive to achieve our objective of evolving from a niche provider into a major market player."
One of the world's two largest suppliers of forklift trucks, warehouse technology and associated services, the KION Group recently reached a first significant milestone in North America when Linde North America was renamed KION North America in November of last year. The KION Group operates a production plant in Summerville, South Carolina, with an annual capacity of more than 10,000 trucks, and has a nationwide sales and service network with around 100 dealers.
Before moving to Summerville, Vincent Halma held the roles of Managing Director in the Netherlands and Vice President Sales for western Europe at STILL GmbH. Originally from the Netherlands, he also spent more than ten years in the United States working for a provider of cargo solutions. Brian Butler became President of Linde North America in 2005.
Under the umbrella of KION North America, the brand companies Linde and STILL are to serve the requirements of the US, Canadian and Mexican markets with a comprehensive, customised and complementary product portfolio. The company's medium-term objectives include establishing a fleet management and finance system and possibly introducing an additional brand.
The North American market, consisting of the USA (the world's second-largest single market), Canada and Mexico, was one of the fastest growing markets in the world in 2013, showing an 11 per cent increase in unit sales. The first nine months of last year saw a rise of just under 6 per cent, while the KION Group's unit sales climbed by more than 10 per cent.