The story began when Antonio Petrucci, previously a sales agent working in the forklift truck field, who in 1995 at the age of 46 wanted to set up his own business. That is how COLVEMAT came about. It specialises in maintenance, hire and sale of material handling equipment.
Based in Nancy (54), the company quickly evolved by expanding its territories and purchasing other companies (external growth). "COLVEMAT has expanded in the Champagne-Ardenne district, in Alsace, and more recently in the south with its Perpignan/Montpellier agency," explained Sylvain Jakubczak (Colvemat North Regional Director).
In 2012 COLVEMAT joined the EUROPE HOLDING group, which in 2017 posted sales revenues of EUR 600 million, and employs 3,000 people. This group belongs to Alexandre Michel who, interestingly, also owns TRANSALLIANCE, the heavy goods transport and logistics company.
Today COLVEMAT has no fewer than 16 agencies employing over 300 people - 200 of them working on the technical side, and 35 in sales. COLVEMAT also has over 150 fully equipped service vehicles and posts sales revenues of EU 80 million. "In 1996, the company started with just four employees, and just over 20 years later, there are almost 300! The company has seen a phenomenal - I could even say unbelievable - upswing in every sense - sales revenues, number of employees, agencies and the fleet. The company is developing fast and this won't stop while the road is so good" commented Sylvain Jakubczak. "With its fifteen agencies COLVEMAT covers twenty departments, as well as Luxembourg", he added.
Still expanding, COLVEMAT wanted to link with Hyundai Material Handling in order to develop its materials handling business with front-loading forklifts in the 1.5-16 ton diesel, 1.5 - 7 ton gas, and 1-5 ton electric ranges It also represents the warehouse range manufactured by the South Korean company, ranging from electric pallet trucks, electric stackers, retractable forklifts, order picker and heavy goods trucks.
Within the group three agencies represent Hyundai Construction Equipment Europe in seven departments in France: they are in Lille, Montpellier and Perpignan. "In some cases we have the option to pick up a territory; that was the situation in Perpignan, where we bought a company with a dedicated public works business which we are developing by including the materials handling line, and introducing our trump card of Hyundai Material Handling."
Since teaming with Hyundai Construction Equipment Europe, a total of 34 forklifts have been sold. And you could say that Sylvain Jakubczak is delighted with this partnership. "Hyundai is very receptive to our requests and those of our customers. We feel that there really is excellent reactivity. We feel that this is a 'challenger' manufacturer with a strong ambition to develop its European network by offering top quality products to other manufacturers; it really wants to expand. Having the head office in Tessenderlo in Belgium is very useful, as is the Hyundai Academy."
COLVEMAT has invested rapidly in forklifts to demonstrate to its customers. "Our customers like them, especially the thermal forklifts. The words they use most frequently are 'safety', 'comfort', 'robustness'. It is essential for us that our customers are satisfied - and they are!" concluded Sylvain Jakubczak.