Nissan Forklift announced it will celebrate its 50th anniversary this month. The company, which manufactured its first forklifts in Japan in August 1957, first introduced these units to the United States in 1965 under the Datsun brand. According to the company, by 1984 Nissan Forklift was No. 1 in sales of Japanese forklifts in the U.S.
In the late 1980s, the company purchased Marengo, Ill.-based Barrett Industrial Trucks — founded in 1914, establishing Nissan Forklift as the first Japanese-owned lift truck company to supply all five truck classes to the North American market (Nissan had retired the Datsun name within the U.S. by this time). By 1993, the consolidation of Barrett and Nissan Forklift was complete, and a new corporation was born: Nissan Forklift Corp., N.A.
With the manufacturing and distribution of both Nissan and Barrett brand products under one roof, Nissan Forklift has continued to grow as a leading supplier to North and South America, as well as other global markets. Since 1957, Nissan Forklift has manufactured more than 600,000 forklifts for distribution worldwide. The company currently has 75 authorized dealers.
Nissan Forklift has a workforce of more than 400 full-time employees in its 400,000-square-foot Marengo facility — the largest of Nissan’s three forklift production operations around the world. As one of the city’s largest employers during the past 20 years, and because of its dedicated support for numerous community organizations, Nissan Forklift was recently recognized by Marengo’s mayor and city council with a proclamation naming Prospect Street, on which the facility is located, as honorary “Nissan Way.”
During this important 50th anniversary year, Nissan Forklift and Nissan Motor Corp. have launched a major environmental initiative: the Nissan global Green Program, which seeks “a symbiosis of people, vehicles and nature.”
Nissan’s Green Program has already attained significant goals in product development with the launch of the Platinum II Series of industrial truck engines, which are designed to increase fuel efficiency and performance as they reduce exhaust emissions. Within this green initiative, Nissan Forklift is addressing three key issues: reducing CO2 emissions in vehicles; protecting the air, water and soil in manufacturing processes and through improved vehicle performance; and focusing on resource recycling and waste reduction.
Nissan Forklift Corp. is a supplier of engine-powered forklifts, electric sit-down riders, electric pallet trucks, electric tow tractors, electric walkie stackers and manual pallet trucks under the Nissan and Barrett Industrial Truck brands.