IT’S an exciting time for West Linton-based WM Rose & Sons. So says director, Ian Rose. The long-standing Manitou dealer parted ways with the manufacturer at the end of last year but within weeks, it had secured a trio of new franchises which would broaden its product range and open up new markets.
The firm is has taken on the Merlo range of telehandlers, Niftylift mobile elevated access platform range and HC Forklifts. Having been dealing in Manitou since 1972, WM Rose & Sons’ market share with the brand was ‘exceptional’, Ian, who manages the firm alongside his brother, William, told Project Plant. “As a result of that, the competitors weren’t doing too well, so the competitors contacted us to use our services and customer contracts and so on to develop their product,” he explained.
Ian described the Merlo brand as a ‘market leader’ in Germany, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Sweden and Italy, and praised the strength of its hydraulic performance and controllability onsite. “There is a complete range of equipment, which will suit just about any site and application outdoors,” he added.
The UK-manufactured Niftylift brand offers a range of wheeled and tracked access platforms and will ‘open doors’ to WM Rose & Sons, Ian continued, while HC Forklifts has an ‘extensive’ range of machines between 1.5-45 tonnes.
Ian said the customer reaction to the new brands had been ‘very positive’. “A lot of customers comment that they were buying machines because it was coming from WM Rose & Sons, as opposed to the previous product that they were buying, for the backup and service, so in general the customers have been really receptive to the product and our new franchises.”
The WM Rose & Sons team has also been ‘really enthusiastic’ about the new brands, according to Ian. “We’ve engaged in a considerable amount of new product training with the individual brands, which has given them an insight into the new products.
“One of our strengths is our service and backup, so our customers come back and buy further machines because we are able to back them up and we perceive that’s why they come back to us.”
Ian added, “It’s opening all sorts of opportunities for us in the marketplace. It’s quite an exciting time for WM Rose & Sons going forward.”