From local to global: MEC’s strategic vision for the future

“This was our biggest year we’ve ever had,” says David White, president of MEC Aerial Work Platforms. “We have a precedence on a lot of new product development.”

MEC used this year’s ARA Show to focus on its new NetZero range of all-electric lift, steer and drive slab scissors and vertical masts – as well as the show-stopping DualReach 85-J Boom (for details on MEC’s new articulating and telescopic boom lift, see our feature on telescopic booms in this issue.)

The California-based company has undergone massive changes over the last year, including the news that China-based Dingli further invested in MEC to see its total ownership come to 49.8%. The plan moving forward is for Dingli to buy the outstanding shares of MEC and take entire ownership of the company.

mec, mec president, david white, mec aerial work platforms Gary Crook, left, vice president of engineering, and David White, president, MEC, stand in front of the company’s new dual boom. (Photo: KHL)

MEC’s new owners will afford the company not only a wider product portfolio, but new manufacturing and selling opportunities globally.

“We’ve had a lot of success with mega jobs, data centers, etc., with partners here in the U.S.,” White says. “We have had requests by some major dealer customers to replicate that success, if you will, in Europe. And so, we are exploring that. We’re in those beginning stages.”

White said MEC’s potential European facility would be a MEC base for support parts, service and sales on the ground. “We envision a limited product range to start, and we’ll grow it from there,” White says. “But it would be supported with our existing manufacturing operations.”

Currently, MEC’s manufacturing plant in California produces and assembles a small range of the company’s products, with a large chunk of the OEM’s production actually occurring in China at Dingli’s facility. MEC also has “a couple different OEM manufacturing sources in Korea,” White adds. “Decisions of where a product is produced is still based on the merits of freight production costs, volumes, that kind of thing.”

MEC’s 45-year history has long touted it as being a niche provider of access equipment. But, White adds, “that niche strategy has evolved to include mainstream products. The 85-J is pure mainstream product, but we still took the approach to find unique features and benefits that address customer problems.”

mec, dual boom, articulating boom, telescopic boom, mec aerial work platforms MEC’s new articulating and telescopic boom lift at The ARA Show. (Photo: KHL)

In the U.S., customers will soon see MEC grow to include a new R&D center which “may or may not be in California,” White teases. “We are going to start an East Coast machine distribution center that will begin operating in July, and parts are on the horizon with the plan to have an East Coast parts operations facility by the end of the year.”

The company also hints it might enter new machine categories, including equipment that serves the material handling sector.

“Material handling is within the vision,” White says. “But we still have a lot of work to do to complete the boom line. And so, we’re going to stay focused on getting that expansion done and accomplished.”

For details on MEC’s product launches, see the March/April issue of Access, Lift & Handlers, which can be subscribed to for free, here.

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