As a international leader in forklift trucks, Hyster continuously strives for superiority in product quality and safety. However, it started as a manufacturer of lifting equipment as well as winches. Most of its production was focused in the northwest United States and dealt primarily with the lumber and logging industry. A couple years after the first forklift trucks were invented Hyster became synonymous with quality manufacturing. Over the last 80 years Hyster has continued to get bigger and develop its product line. The expansion of its products coupled with its desire to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to mature into the worldwide participant it is nowadays.
Hyster experienced major innovations through the 1940's and 1960's. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Illinois that was entirely committed to bulk producing trucks. This allowed Hyster to force its expenses down and, simultaneously, offer a better quality product at industry aggressive rates. In 1952, Hyster began its first foray in to the international production market through opening its first plant in the Netherlands. The Netherlands plant was originally designed to produce two products: Hyster 40" and the Karry Kranes.
Between the late fifties through the 1960's, Hyster continued to expand into new markets. They started building container handlers in the United states in 1959 to satisfy the ever growing demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a means for allowing a lift truck to go both ahead and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was termed the Monotrol pedal, which revolutionized the industry. Later on in the decade Hyster opened a R&D centre in Oregon that was concentrated on enhancing the design and performance of forklifts. The centre is still one of the world's top testing facilities in the materials handling industry.
The 1960's was characterized by rapid growth throughout the whole materials handling industry. Due to this, Hyster needed to refocus its approach towards these emergent mass markets. As a consequence, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to afford better quality at a more inexpensive price. A further expansion in production capabilities was necessitated by the demand in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles. To fill this gap, a plant in Craigavon, Ireland was opened in 1980. Through the 80's Hyster continued to concentrate on developing industry leading lift trucks. The Hyster brand name was known throughout the globe for its commitment towards excellence. This attention to excellence produced a lot of suitors for the enterprise. In 1989, a large multinational business based in Ohio called NACCO Industries bought Hyster and began an aggressive growth strategy. NACCO rapidly replaced the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented forklift that focused on operator comfort, which is identified as the XM generation of trucks.
The evolving requirements of Hyster's clientele, led by improvements in supply chain management, required Hyster to constantly innovate and make investments in modern manufacturing technology throughout the next few decades. Acquisitions and investments were made in the US, Italy, Netherlands, and many other places throughout the world. All of these investments have made Hyster a worldwide leader in the forklift market. In 2009, Hyster celebrated its eightieth anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which includes more than three hundred different styles of lift trucks.
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