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Arcomet to distribute Potain in UK

The Manitowoc Crane Group and Arcomet Group will sign a distribution agreement on January 1, 2006, under which Arcomet will sell the complete range of Potain self-erecting and top-slewing tower cranes in England, Scotland and Wales.

Arcomet will operate from three locations in the UK and will organise sales and rental for the full Potain range from self-erectors to the large top-slewing cranes.

Sales and rentals for the Igo and GTMR ranges of self-erecting cranes will be handled by a newly established company, Midland Cranes, headed by managing director, Jerry Welford, until recently, the sales manager of Ladybird crane hire.

Midland Cranes will establish a nationwide network of regional offices to utilise its large fleet of cranes and to ensure a local service to local job sites.

Sales and rentals for the top-slewing tower crane range will be handled by another new company, Arcomet Tower Cranes, headed my managing director Graham Baukham, who recently left Select.

Potain is currently distributed by a company store, the Manitowoc Crane Group (UK) operation in Uxbridge, Middlesex led by Steve Barnett, managing director - sales/operations. Manitowoc UK will provide a support role to the new distribution companies.

The new arrangement between Arcomet, which claims to be the world’s largest tower crane rental company, and Potain, is the first time the two companies have joined forces for a distribution agreement, although the two have had a commercial relationship for many years

It is understood that Arcoment placed an order for at least 100 cranes with Potain in order to get the new company off to a good start.

Frans Vanwinkel, vice president of sales and marketing for Manitowoc Crane Group in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said: “We’re delighted to have a company with the knowledge, experience and reputation of Arcomet representing us in the important British market,”.

“The relationship between our two companies stretches back some time but has intensified over the past two years with Arcomet adding over 50 Potain cranes to its fleet in the past 12 months and our partnership continuing to grow healthier by the day. We’re certain that by joining forces in Great Britain we will be able to offer a level of service not previously seen in the region” he continued.

Dirk Theyskens and Frans Wouters, managing directors of Arcomet Group, said:
“With the upcoming Olympic Games in 2012 and a number of other major projects in the pipeline, the British market is one of the busiest in Europe at the moment. We’re certain that our industry expertise and reputation combined with the quality Potain product will prove a winner with British contractors.”

Vertikal Comment:

It is always a surprise when a manufacturer moves away from a long established company store to an independent distributor. However the UK tower crane market, particularly for top slewers, is very much a rental market, with most of the largest rental companies representing manufacturers and thus being "captive".

Terex-Commedil has done very well in recent years with its distributor-rental company, Select. Manitowoc has no interest in being in the rental business to the point that it sold the Potain UK self erector rental fleet, that it inherited, as soon as it was possible. Ladybird crane hire was created from that fleet.

It will now hope to emulate the success that Terex has had with Select, through Arcomet.

Arcomet has achieved something of a coup, in winning this dealership and attracting two of the industry's top sales guys to head it up. All at a time when the market should take off with the Olympics and other major projects just starting off.


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