KION Group logo Photo: ARNE DEDERT/ZUMA PRESS

KION plans expansion to avoid tariffs

KION North America Corporation

2450 West 5th North St.
Summerville, SC 29483
Phone: 843 875-8366
Fax: 843 875-8329
http://www.kiongroup.com

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Germany’s Kion Group AG plans to expand its factory in Summerville, S.C., in a move to escape a 25% tariff the U.S. levied on forklifts imported from China.

About half of the 3,000 vehicles that the Frankfurt-based company sells in the U.S. each year come from China, where Kion operates two forklift manufacturing facilities, Chief Financial Officer Anke Groth said Friday in an interview with CFO Journal.

“It is worth exploring ways to expand our production in the U.S. to avoid tariffs,” Ms. Groth said. The company is searching for additional U.S.-based suppliers that could provide its factory in Summerville with parts, she added.

Foreign companies ranging from auto makers to solar panel manufacturers have sketched out plans to expand their U.S. manufacturing footprints in response to trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The U.S. levied two rounds of duties on Chinese imports last year, in July and September, which now affect roughly $250 billion worth of goods.

The U.S. tariffs cost Kion a few million euros last year, Ms. Groth said. “In 2019, this amount will be higher,” she added.

Foreign companies ranging from auto makers to solar panel manufacturers have sketched outplans to expand their U.S. manufacturing footprints in response to trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The U.S. levied two rounds of duties on Chinese imports last year, in July and September, which now affect roughly $250 billion worth of goods.

The U.S. tariffs cost Kion a few million euros last year, Ms. Groth said. “In 2019, this amount will be higher,” she added.

Author: Nina Trentmann

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