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Hitachi Establishes Unit in South Korea

Hitachi Ltd. has opened an elevator unit in South Korea, Pulse reports. The company officially launched Hitachi Elevator Korea during a ceremony at Lotte Hotel in Seoul. Hitachi has been installing elevators in South Korea since 1968, and in 1984 provided elevators for the country’s first high-rise building. A Hitachi official said expectations of rapid growth, partly because of changes in safety regulations, led to the establishment of the Korean subsidiary. Korea is Hitachi’s third-biggest elevator market, after China and India.

Katayama Tsuneaki, who has worked for Hitachi Building Systems for more than 40 years, was named chairman of Hitachi Elevator Korea. Song Seung-bong, formerly of thyssenkrupp Elevator Korea, was named CEO and president.

Saudi Arabian Vertical-Transportation Company Expanding

Saudi Arabian holding company Mayar Holding, parent of Gulf Elevators & Escalators Co. (GEEC), has had success focusing on the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but a regional economic slowdown has the company looking to expand into new markets, Thomson Reuters Zawya reported in December 2017.

Mayar CEO Abdulamajed Alshaikh said the GCC nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman — were hit hard by the worldwide decline in oil prices that began in 2014, so his company is broadening its scope into Egypt and Iraq. “Our strategy is to expand and not to rely only on the Gulf markets,” Alshaikh said in an interview. He said the expansion will both reduce business risks and diversify the company’s investment portfolio.

“Egypt and Iraq are big opportunities for growth,” Alshaikh said. Egypt, with the largest population in the Arab world, offers “a very big and promising” investment opportunity, thanks to recent economic reforms. He also finds Iraq to be “a superb market” buoyed by its military progress against the Islamic State insurgency.

GEEC is the exclusive distributor for Japanese elevator brand Fuji in the GCC and other parts of the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Biofial Hydraulics Enters New Markets

Biofial Hydraulics, a maker of components for hydraulic elevators, has entered new markets in Europe, South America and the Middle East. Thessaloniki, Greece-headquartered Biofial is now distributing its products to elevator manufacturers in Lithuania, Peru and Qatar.

In announcing its expanded reach, the company said, “Staying true to our commitments, we will continue to grow our clientele and develop strong, advantageous, long-lasting cooperations around the globe.” Biofial manufactures hydraulic cylinders, power units and car frames. The company also sells complete lift solutions: compact cargo lifts, hydraulic automobile platforms and hydraulic scissor platform lifts.

KONE Expands in Hong Kong, Madrid

KONE has strengthened its market position in Hong Kong and Madrid with the recent acquisition of Shan On Engineering Co. and Ascensores R. Casado, S.A., respectively. Shan On was founded in 1973 and specializes in elevator maintenance, modernization and installation. There are approximately 1,000 elevators in its maintenance portfolio. Ascensores R. Casado provides installation, maintenance and modernization services to more than 1,300 elevators. KONE welcomed employees and customers of both companies to the KONE organization.

Otis to Start Manufacturing Escalators in India

Otis plans to start manufacturing escalators at its Bengaluru, India, facility in 2018, citing railway station modernization and population growth, particularly in Tier II and III cities, over the next decade, according to Press Trust of India. Otis India President Sebi Joseph said the company will continue to transition to producing all products for the Indian market in India. He noted it is currently at 40% global and 60% Indian components. “Our goal is to get to total indigenization,” Joseph said. “We are expanding the range of products manufactured.” While the Goods and Services Tax and the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act promise to keep the Indian market flat in 2017, it is expected to pick back up in 2018. Thanks to new product launches, Joseph said, the company anticipates 19% growth in India in 2017.

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