Full plant solutions
As the UK branch of Switzerland-based Liebherr-International AG, Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd is a leading player in the sale of construction machinery and other heavy equipment
Initially established as Liebherr Building Machinery Limited in 1961, primarily to supply the British construction industry with innovative tower cranes, Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd (Liebherr-GB) operates as part of the wider Liebherr Group. The Liebherr Group currently has in excess of 41,000 employees who enable Liebherr to shape technological advances in heavy construction machinery as well as in equipment utilised across several other industry sectors. It is over six decades since company founder Hans Liebherr invented the world’s first mobile tower crane and in that time the Liebherr Group has grown its service offering to include solutions in refrigeration and freezing, construction machines, mining equipment, mobile and crawler cranes, material handling machinery, maritime cranes, aerospace and transportation systems, gear cutting technology and automation, components and even hotel services.
In the UK, Liebherr-GB delivers solutions that cover the majority of services that make up the Liebherr product portfolio. Within the construction industry for example, when the company’s innovative tower cranes were first introduced to British construction sites during the early 1960s they represented a brand new handling technology. Over subsequent years the cranes so impressed major contractors throughout the country that they quickly became a regular fixture in the construction industry UK-wide. Liebherr soon added further machines and equipment to its portfolio and today is able to provide a comprehensive range of construction and related equipment.
Managing Director, Richard Everist, explains, “Liebherr-GB represents all the construction machinery manufactured by the Liebherr Group with equipment including earth moving and mining machines, mobile cranes, crawler and mobile tower cranes, concrete products and maritime cranes. We also provide all the sales service support for all of these product types, which are still predominantly produced in Germany and Austria. Each of the company’s product ranges has a different set of clients and, while there is some level of cross-over, our main clients for mobile cranes are in the rental industry while earth moving customers predominantly operate plant equipment and our tower cranes are typically supplied to construction firms. The latter include BrookfieldMultiplex, which is involved in a number of major construction projects around London.”
Although the Liebherr Group and Liebherr-GB both provide some equipment on a rental basis, principally earthmoving machinery, the majority of the company’s business is equipment sales. Furthermore, across all of its markets, the company provides indepth aftersales services to ensure that clients continue to receive the best support throughout the entire life of the delivered product. “There is a degree of commonality in all of the sectors that we cover. For example, we pride ourselves on the strength and depth of our service across the entire business. This includes technical assistance, spare parts, workshop services and field service engineers to provide a full support package. Although the products provided by Liebherr-GB might be considered to be at a premium price, the most expensive machine that a customer can buy is one that continues to break down,” Richard says. “The equipment that we provide is both proven and reliable and is supported by a comprehensive aftersales support package, meaning that the client can expect to get maximum usage from our machines throughout the life of the product. We base our business model on building long-term relationships across all of our target business sectors because, whilst we know that it is the salesman that sells the first machine, we also understand that it is the aftersales team that sells the next one and the one after that. Without a strong aftersales and support team, the company would not enjoy the repeat business that it does currently.”
As the construction industry in the UK and the rest of Europe waits to assess the impact of this year’s EU referendum in the UK, Liebherr-GB will continue to develop its strong position in the market and to rely on its flexibility to adapt to the future needs of the construction industry. “Liebherr is in the fortunate position of being a family-owned business that is able to invest significant capital back into the business annually through research and development. Millions of euros are invested directly into the innovation and development of new solutions each year, which means that as a sales person it is great to be able to attend trade shows and really shout about all the new developments we are bringing to market,” Richard says. He concludes, “We currently have a five-year plan and are showing solid signs of growth, not withstanding the outcome of the referendum. As markets are still recovering from the global recession there is a lot of older equipment that needs to be replaced. We anticipate that the industry will address this as the market continues to improve so we expect to grow the business across all our industry sectors over the coming years.”
Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd
Services: Sales of construction machinery and plant equipment