TTJ: Where do you see hubtex’s greatest potential for development in the UK?

Juan Cantalejo (JC): The share of electric vehicles on the British market is relatively low in comparison with the global market. This is especially true for multi-directional sideloaders. However, the use of electric vehicles brings with it particular advantages due to the avoidance of emissions and the low operating costs, for example. It is therefore our strategy to pursue further expansion in this market segment.

TTJ: Which market segments do you particularly wish to focus on?

JC: Our focus is on optimising end-to-end processes. Hubtex offers a broad spectrum of products in the field of electric multidirectional sideloaders, including orderpicking systems in combination with multi-directional sideloaders in the timber industry, tool-changing platforms in the automotive industry and solutions in the aircraft construction industry. However, we need to overcome a number of challenges on these vertical markets. Our employees are experienced in the material handling industry with a broad range of industrial and technical expertise. This expertise allows them to consult with a customer to gain the best understanding of their operations and offer the optimum solution through specialist niche products. That’s why we’ve decided to look after the British market ourselves. It’s not about volumes – it’s a clear case of quality over quantity.

TTJ: What influence do you expect brexit to have on your sales figures and how are you preparing for its impact?

JC: We’ll have to wait and see what effect Brexit has on our sales in the UK and it is really difficult to make any predictions. Many of our clients are active in the British market. We are working to strengthen our position in this market as part of our previously mentioned strategy.

TTJ: You had been working together with translift bendi up until last year. is that partnership now over?

JC: As mentioned, product differentiation was one of the main reasons for our change in strategy, which in turn brought about an amicable end to our partnership with Translift Bendi.

In the past, we concentrated far too heavily on selling multi-directional sideloaders in the high-volume segment. We must admit that we didn’t fully play to our strengths in this respect. On the one hand, we have our multi-directional sideloaders with electric drive, which offer the benefit of low life-cycle costs. On the other hand, we can produce vehicles handling long, heavy and bulky loads across the entire value chain by improving efficiencies, increasing productivity and maximising the operational capabilities, whilst reducing their overall costs.

TTJ: The diesel-powered four-way sideloader dq had previously been the cornerstone of your product portfolio. have you stopped making this product?

JC: Our main focus is now on electric vehicles and that’s despite the fact that multi-directional sideloaders in the UK are mainly designed as gas-powered vehicles for handling long goods.

Electric-powered vehicles are developing at a rapid pace. With companies becoming increasingly concerned about their carbon footprint and a growing trend towards automation, electric multi-directional sideloaders are clearly making inroads into many new areas of application. But we are still producing diesel vehicles. With the DQ-X, a new generation of diesel-powered four-way sideloaders, we are looking to win over clients who value a spacious cabin, excellent all-round visibility, energy-saving operation and comprehensive control options. We are planning this year to accelerate the expansion of our service network to support our existing and new customers.