Danish spider lift manufacturer TCA Lift is to change its corporate name to Falcon Lifts, matching the well-known Falcon brand of its spider lifts.
Bringing the names together is intended to help the company present a stronger, more coherent and logical image as it expands under new ownership. The change will take effect from 1st May although it is going live today on its website.
The company has seen numerous name and ownership changes over the past 13 years - including WorldLift, Skako and TCA - but the Falcon product name has remained a constant throughout.
The Falcon name came from the Falck Schmidt family that invented the spider lift in the early 1970s. Until 2005 the company name was also Falck Schmidt although in some ways the name and brand dates back to 1906, when the same family founded the well-known Falck vehicle recovery network which also uses a falcon logo and operates in many European countries. It also helped that the Falck Schmidt initials – FS - worked for Falcon Spider - Falck - or Falk - is of course Danish for Falcon.
TCA managing director and minority owner Finn Schlitterlau said: “In future, the Falcon name will belong to both our lifts and our company, and it’s wonderful that Falcon lifts today are well-known and respected for their unique qualities and are seen as an exceptionally productive tool for maintenance jobs around the world. “It is perfectly natural for us to change the name to Falcon Lift and reap the benefits of an identification between the name of our most well-known lift and the name of our company.”
The Falcon Spider lift was developed by the two Falck Schmidt brothers in the 1970s, while trying to find a solution for a lightweight lift with outriggers that could still go through a single doorway when stowed. Using modelling wire they came up with the concept of the spider leg while holed up in a log cabin during a holiday/vacation. When they returned to work they converted the idea into a prototype, with the spider lift name coming from the way the machine looked when set up on outriggers. Over the years more than 1,000 Falcon spider lifts have been delivered.
The original company faced a few challenges during 2004 and was acquired from the Falck Schmidt family in 2005 by Denka lift owner VT Holding, which merged the two companies into WorldLift Industries. Around 2008 WorldLift was transferred to VT concrete equipment subsidiary Skako and renamed Skako Lift. Skako was then floated on the Danish stock market.
In 2011 WorldLift managing director Finn Schlitterlau and financial director Thyge Mikkelsen formed a Management Buy Out of the Falcon business from Skako (Rothlehner acquired the Denka part) and renamed the company TCA Lift for Tall Compact Aerial Lift. The move brought seven years of stability and growth to the business, to the point that last July the two owners decided that more investment was required to take the company to the next level and ensure a long-term progression of the company. So they sold a 65 percent stake to private equity investor Generationsskifte Invest, See New owner for TCA Lift which has was keen to invest in building the business over the medium to longer term.
Chairman Jens Heimburger – who is also the founder of Generationsskifte Invest - said: “The change of name and a strong profile underline the importance of communication in achieving growth. Falcon Lift has always been a technological leader in the sector. We are now boosting our communication front to make clear to the world who Falcon is. This will help us succeed in our goal of becoming the market leader.”
This move makes eminent sense. The Falck Schmidt name was well-known, but has been eroded with all the name changes. The company has done a good job to promote the TCA band, but it is always a challenge to build strong brand awareness when you effectively have two names, especially for a smaller company.
The Falcon name and logo have been on the spider lifts for many years and is a stronger name and brand than the three initials. It looks like a sound move and also reflects the next stage in the company’s growth plans.