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Crown Equipment: Adapting To Changing Times

March 27, 2014

Some companies cease to exist because the product they manufactured had become obsolete. There are many stories about companies closing down due to change demands of customers. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way, companies must adapt to changing times.

Crown Equipment Corporation is a company that has manufactured different products over the course of its history and managed to survive and prosper.  The company was founded in 1945 by brothers Carl H. Dicke and Allen A. Dicke, in New Bremen, Ohio. The firm began by manufacturing temperature controls for coal burning furnaces, servicing a handful of clients. These units were produced in a former hardware store building and eventually became obsolete. The firm did not stop operating though.

With public interest growing in television, the firm made its move into the production of antenna rotators, a product used to enhance television reception. It was a good move with Crown becoming a leading manufacturer of the product until October 2001 when production was ended after a prolong decline in worldwide demand for antenna rotors.

Production may have ended but the company did not. It finally found a niche in the material handling industry. It is today one of the largest lift truck manufacturers in the world with annual sales of over $2 billion.

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