Kobelco and Manitowoc end OEM supply agreement

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Kobelco Construction Machinery and The Manitowoc Company have announced they will end their OEM supply agreement.

In 2003, the two companies announced a crawler crane agreement where Kobelco would supply its lattice boom crawler crane models (under 150 tons) on an OEM basis to the global Manitowoc distribution network. As well, Manitowoc would supply Kobelco branded all-terrain crane models for marketing in Japan.

Now, nearly 15 years later, the global alliance will end on Nov. 9.

“Manitowoc has an outstanding reputation around the world and offered a strong distribution network in regions it serves globally. I can say our partnership was very successful between two highly respected industry players joining forces,” said Kazuhide Naraki, president and CEO of Kobelco Construction Machinery.

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According to a news release, the changing market environment in the past few years led to Manitowoc and Kobelco reexamining the agreement, as well as discussing the future of the partnership. While looking ahead to future market conditions, the companies mutually decided to part ways and operate on their own.

“I strongly feel that both companies share the same approach – focusing on customers with care and bringing to market reliable products which have a high standard of quality and safety,” Naraki said. “We look forward to a new chapter in growing our businesses globally.”

The relationship will not be completely severed after Nov. 9. Kobelco will continue to support Manitowoc and its customers, and Manitowoc will continue to support Kobelco and its customers, with parts for a period of 10 years.

“Manitowoc provided our customers with a comprehensive line through our alliance. The company has been an excellent partner, providing our customers with a high standard of product quality and reliability,” said Barry Pennypacker, president & CEO of Manitowoc. “After nearly 15 years, we have agreed to pursue separate ways developing our own products in the smaller capacity cranes to serve our respective customers.”

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