Merlo announces new president and plans
By Euan Youdale11 August 2023
Paolo Merlo has been named as the new president of Merlo Group. The appointment follows the death of company founder and president Amilcare Merlo late last year.
The Italian company was the first in Europe to manufacture the modern design of telehandler, in 1981. Today the group comprises nine specialist companies and six subsidiaries in France, Germany, UK, Spain, Poland, Australia and a new addition in the US – alongside a distribution network of over 80 importers and 600 dealers worldwide.
More than 90% of production is carried out at the Italian site, where control over the production process allows the company’s know-how to be developed and protected, it said.
The goal for the next three years, according to Paolo Merlo, is to achieve an output of 10,000 telehandlers annually, as well as about 25,000 attachments. To achieve this, significant investments are planned for new production lines and new infrastructure, aimed at an increasingly efficient, technological and sustainable production system.
Development services for the interconnection of logistic flows with regular suppliers will also be enhanced, which will streamline and make the supply chain more efficient. There will also be a major focus on the workforce.
Merlo said, “Today, the solidity of the Merlo Group allows us to look far ahead and plan for the long term. There are still many applications and areas where we can grow; we aim to strengthen our historical markets, starting with Italy and the countries where we are present with subsidiaries and importers.
The company is also seeking to expand into markets that are relatively new to it and where there is plenty of room for growth. “In the USA we have just established our new subsidiary Merlo America and are strengthening our presence in Asia.
“Today Merlo engages with the world market, but the strong link with our territory and the choice of having only one production plant today certainly make us a very special organisation. This allows us to develop without ever losing our vocation for all-round innovation and to present ourselves as a unique and appreciated player worldwide.
Merlo points out there is the constant search for balance between process industrialisation and sustainability, towards which the company is directing most of its efforts and investments.
“For a company like ours, which occupies an area of around 330,000 square metres, sustainability is an important commitment that we approach with enthusiasm and conviction,” Merlo continued.
In 2013 the company presented the world’s first hybrid telehandler and in 2021 launched its first electric telehandler. “Sustainability also involves making important choices, such as opting for an energy supplier using only renewable sources. In addition, we have an internal production of more than one megawatt thanks to the solar panels installed in recent years.”
Today, said Merlo, the opportunity for growth is still great and Merlo telehandlers are finding more applications where work quality and safety can be improved, along with the other products in the range: tracked carriers, tool handler tractors, waste compactors and self-loading concrete mixers
To improve services and get closer to the customer, Melro has established Movimatica, which deals with fleet management software
Environment and labour
Beyond that, Merlo boasts over 90 patents, the latest of which are dedicated to the safety of operators, including the Suspended Cab (CS) - a low-frequency system to reduce vibrations inside the cab, and the ASCS (Adaptive Stability Control System) that prevents the risk of the machine tipping over while handling a load.
This year, the company opened the Merlo Academy, an in-house school to train newly recruited employees to better integrate them the company. “Innovation is fundamental, both in terms of product and production, but it is not enough, added Marlo. “The human component is also crucial, because companies are first and foremost made up of people,” said Merlo.
“With us this will always remain central, we believe in people, we believe in those who work with us and we believe above all in talent. Today it is important to find a way to attract and retain new talent, so that with them we can continue to grow.”