The board of directors for the Merlo Group have announced that Paolo Merlo will take on the role of president, following the passing of company founder Amilcare Merlo late last year.
The Merlo Group was reportedly the first in Europe to manufacture a telehandler with the now-recognisable modern design, back in 1981. Now, the Group comprises nine specialised in-house companies, as well as subsidiaries in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Australia and the US.
Through these companies, the manufacturer supplies a distribution network of more than 80 importers and 600 dealers worldwide, with 90% of production taking place at the Italian headquarters.
Over the next three years, the company aims to achieve an annual production of 10,000 machines and 25,0000 implements, according to Mr Merlo, with significant investment in new production lines and infrastructure.
Mr Merlo said: “Today, the solidity of the Merlo Group allows us to look far ahead and plan for the long term. There are still many applications and areas where we can grow, we aim to strengthen our historical markets, starting with Italy and the countries where we are present with subsidiaries and importers.
“At the same time, we also intend to expand into markets that are relatively new to us, where there is still plenty of room for growth. In the USA we have just established our new subsidiary Merlo America and are strengthening our presence in Asia.
“We are a very different industry group from the traditional ones. Our international presence is very strong, we are in fact a multinational – a “pocket-sized multinational”, as one national newspaper called us. Today Merlo engages with the world market, but the strong link with our territory and the choice of having only one production plant today certainly make us a very special organisation. This allows us to develop without ever losing our vocation for all-around innovation and to present ourselves as a unique and appreciated player worldwide.
“Pocket-sized perhaps does not do justice to the work of all our contributors. When growing internationally, companies often try to hide their origins. We, on the other hand, treasure this, our history has brought us here and allows us to look and plan for the future with great determination, knowing that we have a long way to go, but we have even more ahead of us.”
He added that one of the company’s strengths is its innovation. “For a company like ours, which occupies an area of around 330,000 square metres, sustainability is an important commitment that we approach with enthusiasm and conviction.
“Sustainability is, in fact, one of the pillars for the evolution of our company. In 2013 we
presented the world’s first hybrid telehandler and in 2021 we launched our first electric
telehandler. But sustainability also involves making important choices, such as opting for an energy supplier using only renewable sources. In addition, we have an internal production of more than one megawatt thanks to the solar panels installed in recent years.
“Technology is and will be increasingly important. The modern telehandler concept, invented by us almost forty years ago, has ushered in a profound revolution in the world of handling and lifting, reducing working time and significantly improving operator safety. Today, the margins for growth are still great and Merlo telehandlers are finding more and more applications where both work quality and safety can be improved. This philosophy runs through all the products in our range: the tracked carriers, tool handler tractors, waste compactors and self-loading concrete mixers are designed to make work easier, faster and safer.
“In order to improve our services and be closer to our customers, we have internally developed a company called Movimatica, which deals with fleet management software.”
Of more than 90 patents held by the company, its most recent are dedicated to safety including the Suspended Can (CS) which uses a low-frequency system to reduce vibrations felt by the operator. Another is the ASCS (Adaptive Stability Control System) which prevents a machine from tipping over when handling a load.
“Innovation is fundamental, both in terms of product and production, but it is not enough,” concluded Mr Merlo. “The human component is also crucial, because companies are first and foremost made up of people. With us this will always remain central, we believe in people, we believe in those who work with us and we believe above all in talent.
“Today it is important to find a way to attract and retain new talent, so that with them we can continue to grow, we as a company and they as professionals. That is why, starting this year, we have opened the Merlo Academy, an in-house school to train newly recruited employees so that they can be better integrated into the company. This is the only way to be truly innovative.”
For more information go to www.merlo.co.uk