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Manitowoc president visits Shady Grove for dedication of new crane care center

Tellock says company is expanding domestically and abroad

Tellock says company is expanding domestically and abroad

April 01, 2008|By DON AINES

SHADY GROVE, Pa. -- The economy is slowing and the dollar is weak overseas, yet Manitowoc is in the process of expanding facilities at its Shady Grove plant.

"I think everybody's worried about manufacturing in the U.S.," Manitowoc President Glen Tellock said Monday during a visit to Shady Grove for the dedication of the Manitowoc Crane Care center.

Manitowoc, however, is expanding domestically and abroad, taking advantage of exchange rates and other factors to remain competitive, including buying a tower crane company in India and entering into a joint venture with a crane manufacturer in China.

"When you look at the global footprint we have ... we can be very cost-competitive against anyone else," Tellock said. "This is the kind of thing that gives us a competitive advantage."

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The weak dollar works both ways, Tellock said, making domestically produced products less expensive overseas and foreign-made machines more expensive. One of the ongoing expansion projects at Shady Grove involves production of a German all-terrain crane for the American market, he said.

"We can hedge our currency by doing our manufacturing both here and in Europe" and Asia, Tellock said.

Manitowoc also is expanding production of rough terrain cranes at Shady Grove and its boom shop, assembling booms from kits, Tellock said.

Manitowoc Crane Care in the Americas Vice President Dave Hardin said the company's strategy is to "manufacture close to our end markets where our products are sold."

Cranes made up 80 percent of Manitowoc's $4.2 billion in sales in 2007, the balance being in its food services and marine divisions, Tellock said. He described crane demand as "robust, brisk" and said the company is engaged in expanding its capacity around the globe with acquisitions, expansions and renovations.

Manitowoc bought Grove Worldwide in 2002 for $270 million and moved National Crane from Waverly, Neb., after the acquisition. Neither brand is going to disappear, Tellock said.

"Worldwide, Grove is a very recognized brand," Tellock said. National has domestic name recognition, but the company is working to expand that, he said.

Employment at Shady Grove is approximately 1,800, with another 1,200 at the Manitowoc crane facility in Wisconsin, he said.

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