Maynooth-based German firm appeals to Minister to act on black market

A German company which has seen an increase in its sales last year is currently recruiting four extra people to its 75 strong workforce this month.

A German company which has seen an increase in its sales last year is currently recruiting four extra people to its 75 strong workforce this month.

Jungheinrich Lift Truck Ltd, which bases its Irish sales and service division in the Maynooth Business Park, is upbeat about the Irish business climate.

The company, which said it has increased its workforce by ten last year, invited Minister of State, Sean Sherlock to his north Kildare base on 30 January.

It also hosted a meeting of the German- Irish Chamber of Industry Commerce.

The German based multinational – 10,000 staff in 34 countries - provides forklifts for many different types of business and Leixlip based Irish boss, Des Kavanagh, said that 14% of its income goes into research and development.

In the presence of Kildare North Fine Gael TD, Anthony Lawler, Mr. Kavanagh appealed to the Government to do something about the black market, particularly in the services and parts area.

He said his company prided itself on top quality products and checking systems.

“German engineering is second none,” said Mr. Kavanagh, who also called for more German language skills in Ireland.

Jungheinrich people say many want their quality products at the lower prices which they say much lower quality machines are selling.

Despite that Mr. Kavanagh said there is an upturn.

Jungheinrich, which trains its own engineers, has reduced money owned to it from €8.5m three years ago to €3.5m today.

“People are paying their bills a little bit better,” he said, adding that the company lost no staff during the recession.

“We are at the bottom now in Ireland and we can see growth here,” he said.

But Mr. Kavanagh believes England is entering a major recession and Asia is not a strong as it looks.

He said his company’s Irish turnover dropped 60% since 2010 although the recession began around June 2007.

On other fronts, the recessions has produced silver lining.

The company used pay €267,000 a year to Glenkerrin for its annual rent. The latter went into NAMA and Jungheinrich bought the building from NAMA, and now pays E120,000 on it.

Deputy Anthony Lawler agreed there is an upswing.

A steel company which has been doing business around the country has been going well for the last four months, he told the gathering.

- Henry Bauress