US material lift manufacturer LiftSmart has appointed José Miguel Peña as sales director of its new European sales operation based in Barcelona, Spain.
A native Catalan, Peña has spent the last six years’ as a freelance equipment business consultant but has almost 28 years’ experience in the aerial lift industry, having started out in 1991 as a sales representative with Talleres Velilla – the manufacturer of Movex truck mounted lifts. In 1997 he moved to Europart a division of forklift dealer Alfaland, where he was product manager of its aerial work platform operations.
A couple of years later he joined Genie as sales manager for Spain and Portugal and was instrumental in setting up its Iberian operation in 2001 as general manager Iberia. In 2005 he was promoted to sales director for Southern Europe and North Africa and was involved with Genie’s two way OEM supply deal with Manitou, becoming product and business development manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2010.
In 2012 he left the company for rental group Lavendon where he was vice president international sales, but left the following year, to set up as a freelance consultant.
Until now LiftSmart has focused mainly on the America’s but has sold product in Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, the UK and Ireland through a collection of dealers and customers.
Managing director Steve Citron said: “We are extremely pleased that José Peña has joined the team, as I have worked with him in the past and believe he will expand our presence throughout the region and beyond. He is a very positive, highly accomplished individual and we will provide exceptional service and support to our European customers under his leadership.”
“Europe is a very important region for us, and we want to show our commitment to the market and our customers there. This represents our first step towards a larger facility that will eventually serve as a finished goods and spare parts distribution centre, which is part of our overall strategic plan.”
LiftSmart was established by Citron in 2010 and launched its first products in February 2011 at the ARA show of that year. It moved into its current manufacturing plant in Vista, California, in May 2011.
The company appointed its first European dealer – Etramo – in 2014, with the Belgian company covering France, Germany, and the Benelux region as a ‘strategic partner’. In 2017 it announced an OEM badging deal with Snorkel. The current product range includes material lifts with lift heights of 1.2 to 7.6 metres and capacities of 136 to 454kg.