Germany "more optimistic"

07 May 2008

Talk of recession isn't top of the agenda in Germany, says Maarten Mijnlieff, managing director of Gardemann (formerly Zooom); "On the contrary, you hear much more confident noises."

Mr Mijnlieff says 2007 was a good one for the access rental sector, and says the rebranding of the business as Gardemann "is a major step forward".

He says customer reaction to the change was neutral (at worst) or positive.

Alongside the rebranding, the German headquarters has moved from Frankfurt to Gardemann's base at Alpen, and there has been a restructuring of the sales operation, with the seven regional sales centres being closed and centralised at a single location, with 35 "expert" agents to staff the phones.

The German business now has 4500 units and there are plans to add another 350 units this year, with the new machines including ten Teupen Spider units in the 14 to 36 m range.

Mr Mijnlieff says Gardemann plans to expand its business in Germany through organic growth and acquisitions. A move intro Poland isn't on the cards, although the growth of the Polish market is helpful because it provides a ready market for used Gardemann machines. He thinks it will take a "few years for Poland to reach a "second phase" of development where new machines can be rented.

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