Brand Premiums for the Ten Most Popular Warehouse Forklift Brands

Among the five brands of warehouse forklifts with the highest brand premiums, Toyota had the highest overall brand premium in Q3 2021, while Doosan had the lowest.

Key Takeaways for Decision Makers

RENTER/SELLER: If looking to secure the highest premium on the resale market, consider going with Toyota or Komatsu. Be aware, though, that Komatsu’s brand premium varies from model year to model year, whereas Toyota’s has consistently good brand premiums for assets of nearly every age.

FINANCE: The best warehouse forklift brands to finance are the ones that have the longest useful life and garner the highest premiums, such as Komatsu or Caterpillar.

EQUIPMENT MANAGER: Owners of Nissan or Clark warehouse forklifts might be better off holding onto them and seeing if they can rebound, while someone looking to purchase a warehouse forklift should consider buying these brands due to their low premiums.

Why is Brand Premium Important for Warehouse Forklift Brands?

How important is a brand name in the warehouse forklift market? Millions of dollars in advertising, marketing, and brand awareness are spent each year by major OEMs in this space, and they’re mostly geared towards the sale of new equipment. On the secondary market, the impact of the manufacturer on the fair market value can be harder to determine. At EquipmentWatch, we turn to a metric known as brand premium to better understand this topic.

In this article, our brand premiums are based off quarterly average asking prices on the resale channel for warehouse forklifts within each brand. Average asking prices across the full resale channel are used as our baseline. The graphs within this article were created by isolating the impact of brand name by holding remaining factors such as age and equipment size constant across more than 270,000 warehouse forklift observations. The brand premium is the percentage difference between the brand’s average asking price and the average for all warehouse forklifts in our market data. We chose these ten brands because they make up over 91% of the used market for warehouse forklifts. Brand premiums are important to understand because they provide insight as to which brands have the highest perceived value.

Best Warehouse Forklift Brands by Brand Premium

As can be seen in the first brand premium graph at the top of this page, Toyota has the highest brand premium in Q3 2021, with Komatsu and Mitsubishi a close second and third. These three brands all saw their brand premium increase across the three years analyzed. Mitsubishi’s brand premium increased the most, climbing from -3.0% in Q3 2018 to 3.3% in Q3 2021. Doosan has the lowest brand premium of this cohort, although it recovered from its particularly low brand premium experienced from Q4 2019 through Q2 2021.

Lower Brand Premiums for Warehouse Forklift Brands

Among the five brands of warehouse forklifts with lower brand premiums, Hyundai had the highest overall brand premium as of Q3 2021, while Nissan had the lowest brand premium.

Looking at the second brand premium graph, we see that of these five brands Hyundai has the highest brand premium at -3.1% in Q3 2021 and Nissan has the lowest brand premium at -4.8%, representing a relatively narrow range of brand premiums. Hyundai’s brand premium in particular saw volatility in 2018 and 2019, before moderating in 2020 and 2021. In fact, Hyundai was the only brand to see its brand premium increase over the three years, improving by 0.4%. The remaining brands all experienced declines of between 0.5% and 3.3%.

Warehouse Forklift Brand Market Share and Retained Value

In terms of popularity among the ten brands, Toyota is the most popular capturing more than 30% of the overall resale channel market share. Hyster, Yale, and Caterpillar, the next most popular brands, together account for about 38% of the resale market share, meaning these four brands alone accounted for more than two-thirds of the resale warehouse forklift observations across the three years analyzed. On top of having the highest overall brand premium and being the most popular brand in terms of resale volume, Toyota’s warehouse forklifts are also known to retain their value quite well, winning the EquipmentWatch 2021 Highest Retained Value Awards for Warehouse Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks.

Average Ages for the Top 10 Warehouse Forklift Brands

The brands with the highest overall average age in the graph below are Caterpillar and Komatsu and the brand with the lowest overall average age is Doosan.

Average age is important to understand because it details which brands are staying on the market the longest. When looking at the first age graph (above), we can see that Caterpillar and Komatsu are tied for the highest average age of 10.1 years in Q3 2021. Mitsubishi and Toyota were close behind, though, at 9.7 years and 9.6 years, respectively. Of these five brands, Toyota’s average age increased the most, jumping from 7.5 years in Q3 2018 to 9.6 years in Q3 2021, likely driven by recent lack of availability of new equipment in this category leading to some owners being less willing to sell their existing assets.

The brand with the highest overall average age in the below graph is Clark and the brand with the lowest overall average age is Hyundai.

In the second age graph, we see that Clark has the highest average age at 11.4 years in Q3 2021, with Hyster a close second at 11.2 years. Hyundai had the lowest average age across the full three years analyzed, despite increasing from 5.7 years in Q3 2018 to 6.7 years in Q3 2021. Hyundai’s relatively low average age is likely due in part to the fact that the brand has only offered this type of equipment in the U.S. since 2000.

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