13 Nov 2023

Merlo, in 2023 digitalisation and increased production capacity go hand in hand

4 min. of reading

Volumes up 8% for the Cuneo-based group, which is looking towards the US in 2024. The new MerloMobility app brings to life a completely renewed production process that enhances customer relations even more.

San Defendente di Cervasca (CN) | 09.11.23 - The Merlo group will close 2023 with a growth in the volume of machines produced and sold close to 8 per cent. This is a quite significant growth, especially in the earthmoving sector, the result of the investments made in recent years and in compliance with the 2022-2025 industrial plan, which set the goal of increasing production from 8 to 10 thousand machines per year to meet market demands.

This growth took place despite an increasingly complex and out-of-the-ordinary global context, between soaring energy prices on the one hand and raw material bottlenecks on the other. The war in Ukraine, Europe's largest steel producer, had major consequences on the raw materials and energy front, forcing a deep reorganisation at all levels. Similarly, inflation and monetary tightening with rising interest rates have also changed and made the current scenario more uncertain. There are already signs of an economic slowdown and expectations for 2024 are very cautious.

In this context Merlo is not adopting a defensive strategy but, on the contrary, is investing to increase production capacity and continue to improve quality. The path taken by the Merlo group for over a year now is marked by a profound digitisation of the entire production process.

“Every machine that leaves the factory has an identity card that follows it throughout its entire life, from the first cut of the sheet metal to the final scrapping” explains the group's CEO and Chairman Paolo Merlo. In the first phase of the production process, digitisation translates into traceability and quality. In the subsequent phase, the machine's identity card becomes the dialogue tool between the company and the end customer thanks to the provision of numerous services. The digitisation process started a year ago and the new MerloMobility will be launched at Agritechnica. However, the App is the visible proof, but around it there is a whole transformed production process and there is a series of services that allow continuous contact and dialogue between us and the end customer. The app is the means that connects Merlo's services with the end user, from remote assistance to the extension of warranties”.

The new version of the app, which will be available from 2024, has been refined and improved, provides differentiated profiles to suit both private individuals and dealerships or large rental companies, and improves diagnostic and data sampling services with the aim of optimising performance, productivity and flexibility.

The Merlo Group is also aiming at strengthening its market share overseas, particularly in the United States where, after ten years of presence through an importer, a subsidiary of the group will soon be inaugurated (in Charlotte, North Carolina).

“We have decided to be present ourselves,” explains Paolo Merlo, “because we think that in the US our telehandlers have ample opportunity to grow. We will export the entire product range and, in perspective, we aim at having market shares close to 15%, comparable to those we have in Europe”.

In January, Merlo will participate for the first time in “World of Concrete”, the important industry trade fair that will take place in Las Vegas. The landing in the United States is just the latest step in a consolidated international presence of the Merlo Group, which is manifested through the direct organisation of six branches (in France, Germany, England, Spain, Poland and Australia), a distribution network of over 80 importers and 600 dealers. While more than 80% of production is exported, production verticalisation means that 100% of the machines and more than 90% of the components are manufactured in-house. It is this control over the entire production process that allows the company's know-how to be developed and protected, guaranteeing a quality of supply that the world market continues to recognise and reward.