;Before 2000, the forklift truck market in China quite stable. The annual market was around 20,000 per year. However, starting 2000, due to various factors, including entering WTO and rapid industrial development, there ware significant changes in the market. Sales of these material handling equipments has been escalating at a rate of more than 20% per year.
In 2000, the largest Japanese company in the market, Toyota Material Handling Company which had been leading in the outdoor products, acquired BT, the largest indoor forklift manufacturer in the world, and became the number one forklift truck manufacturer in the world. By merging the BT products into their product lines, Toyota Material Handling started to offer a complete line of material handling vehicles, from Class-1 to Class-5, and thus is able to offer a stop shopping service for customers acquiring material handling vehicles.
Toyota Material Handling Company formally entered the China market in 2003, and established both of the Toyota Material Handling (Shanghai) Co., Ltd and Toyota Industry (KunShan) Co. Ltd. While the former is responsible for channel distribution, the latter is responsible for production: assembling the outdoor forklift truck in the 1.5-3 tons category. Toyota entered in to local production based on a forecast that the indoor forklift truck sales volume in China will grow by to 37.77% in 2006.
However, since Toyota Material Handling Company entered China, its market share has been limited to 3%. In addition, in the past three years, the growth rate of its forklift truck business in China is lower than the average growth rate of the forklift truck in the entire China market. Hence, it is almost impossible to reach the target of 25% market share in Chinese forklift truck market by 2010.
The study attempts to identify the core problems and propose constructive solutions to help the Toyota Material Handling to close in on its 25% goal.