History of Manitou

Since the invention of the first all-terrain forklift truck, the search for innovation has always been at the origin of the great successes of the Manitou brand. And more broadly of the Manitou group through its two other brands, Gehl and Mustang by Manitou.

In 1958, in the west of France, Marcel Braud imagined the principle of an original machine: inverting the layout of a farm tractor, adding a lifting mast and hydraulic steering. The first all-terrain forklift truck had just been born. It will make the success of the company and will lead to its worldwide influence.

"I had to find a name for these trucks... It will be MANITOU, a name decided during a family brainstorming session: a truck that "handles everything"! It is pronounceable in all languages, ideal for international development! "

Marcel Braud, Founder of Manitou



The MC 5 is designed for the construction market and has a load capacity of 500 kg.

In 2017, a new version of this historic forklift truck launched on the market: the MC 18, with a load capacity of 1.8 tonnes.


Beginning of internationalization
Manitou UK, the group's first subsidiary, opens its doors at Chandlers Ford, near Southampton in England, UK. It is the first of the group's 30 subsidiaries around the world.
List of the 30 companies that make up the group


With the Maniscopic range, Manitou enters the telescopic handler market. A real growth driver, these machines became the company's flagship products.


IPO in exchange
Manitou BF is listed on the Second Marché of the Paris Stock Exchange. Today listed on Euronext, the company is part of the Next 150 index.
Manitou BF share price monitoring



The 100 AE (electric articulated aerial platform) was launched in March 1993, with a lifting height of 10 meters. Today, the group offers MEWPS ranging from 8 to 28 meters. This range of products, which is very popular with rental companies, is manufactured in Candé, France.

Launch of the first MRT rotating telescopic handler

The MRT 1540 is the first rotary telehandler of the group. This product range, which can rotate 360° continuously, enriches the offer for construction professionals. The MRTs are designed and produced in Castelfranco, in the group's Italian factory.

Warehousing equipment is added to the range
Specialist in warehousing products, Loc Manutention joined the Manitou brand in 1993. In 2015, the subsidiary, whose production site is located in Beaupréau, is transformed and becomes "LMH solutions".


Launch of the first truck-mounted forklift
With the MANITRANSIT range, Manitou Group is now present in the truck-mounted forklift market. These machines, designed to facilitate the loading and unloading of trucks, are considered in logistics as "the experts of the last mile".


Manitou Group inaugurates a 33,500 m² International Spare Parts Logistics Center. Today, 1,000,000 orders leave the logistic center each year (i.e. 4,000 per day). Approximately 40 tons and more than 1,000 parcels are handled daily. 150 people work there and take turns from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm to ensure the availability of 70,000 references can be delivered the next day anywhere in Europe.

500,000th MACHINE SOLD

The Manitou group reaches the half-million mark of machines produced, all brands combined. A special model, an MLT with iridescent colours, is specially designed for this occasion.



  • The Manitou Group signs an agreement to take a majority stake in the Perth-based LiftRite Hire & Sales dealer. With the acquisition of this historic dealer, the group strengthens its presence in the mining sector, a sector in which LiftRite specializes.


  • Purchase of Manitou Equipment India - addition of backhoe loader range

    In order to strengthen its presence in emerging markets, the Manitou Group acquires TEPL located in Greater Noida (India), which becomes the group's eleventh production site. Now called Manitou Equipment India, it specializes in the production and distribution of backhoe loaders and mini-loaders.