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KION and BMZ partner to produce battery systems for industrial trucks

KION GROUP AG is taking another major step forward on its growth and innovation path. The leading global provider of intralogistics solutions will join forces with BMZ Holding GmbH to form a joint venture under the name of KION Battery Systems GmbH. This joint venture will manufacture lithium-ion batteries for industrial trucks in the EMEA region.

The two companies now signed an agreement to this effect. KION GROUP AG and BMZ Holding GmbH will each hold a 50% stake in the joint venture (JV). The objective of the JV is to broaden the lithium-ion product offering and to increase production capacity to best serve the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion battery systems in the intralogistics market.

The production facility for the joint venture is built by BMZ Holding GmbH in Karlstein am Main, the headquarters of the BMZ Group. By 2023, the workforce of the JV is expected to grow to around 80 employees working in mainly research, development and production functions.

Both KION and BMZ have world-leading know-how in the field of lithium-ion technology. Initially, the new JV will focus on the production of 48-volt and 80-volt batteries for counterbalance trucks. Soon, the offering will be expanded to 24-volt batteries for smaller warehouse trucks. The transaction still needs to be approved by the competent antitrust regulator.

This joint venture represents a far-reaching strategic partnership between Europe’s biggest manufacturer of industrial trucks and the leading European provider of lithium-ion battery solutions. “This alliance will boost our role in the lithium-ion battery segment and will put the KION Group – and, by extension, all of the KION brand companies – in an even stronger competitive position,” explained Gordon Riske, Chief Executive Officer of KION Group. “The cooperation with BMZ Group will enable us to effectively meet the steadily growing demand for advanced lithium-ion batteries and to ensure highest reliability of supply for our customers.”

Sven Bauer, Founder and CEO of BMZ Holding, also confirmed the great potential of this collaboration: “KION has been a highly valued partner and customer of ours for a long time. Our two companies have been fostering a strategic and operational business relationship for many years. The technology of BMZ Group and its 25 years of industry experience form a great basis on which the joint venture can build its future success and deliver benefits for both founding companies.” According to Bauer, direct access to proprietary test labs and development teams as well as strategic, cost-optimized product developments will be key to the success of the joint venture.

The new business will be jointly managed by the KION Group and BMZ Holding. KION’s Carsten Harnisch and Christian Hasenstab from BMZ will be appointed as Managing Directors of KION Battery Systems GmbH. Likewise, each founding company will appoint two members of the four-person shareholders’ committee. The joint venture will be fully consolidated by KION GROUP AG.

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