Modern Group Takes on Hyundai Construction Line; Adds Other Lines

Wed October 21, 2015 - Northeast Edition

A Hyundai  HL750-9A wheel loader is proudly parked in front of Modern’s building.
A Hyundai HL750-9A wheel loader is proudly parked in front of Modern’s building.
A Hyundai  HL750-9A wheel loader is proudly parked in front of Modern’s building. A Hyundai  HL750-9A wheel loader is proudly parked in front of Modern’s building.

To succeed in business, a company needs to find ways to distinguish itself from others.

Modern Group, based in Bristol, Pa., hopes adding a new, major equipment line will do just that.

The ability to be “unique within the marketplace” is what led Modern Group to its new relationship with Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, according to Modern President and CEO Paul Farrell.

“To be able to find a like-minded OEM that would give us exclusive distribution, innovative products and a real strong desire to dominate the marketplace, like they have for every other industry that they have entered, is best for us. Hyundai also has given us the opportunity to expand our product line into the heavy equipment, which we were in a long time ago.”

Modern Group consists of three separate businesses: a construction equipment business, a forklift business and a power generation business.

As a result of picking up the Hyundai heavy construction line, as well as the manufacturer’s forklift line, Modern Group’s 70-plus year business relationship with its former forklift OEM has come to an end.

“The opportunity with Hyundai was just too good of an opportunity to pass on,” Farrell said.

As for the construction side of the business, Farrell said adding the Hyundai line shows his company is strongly committed to grow the business.

“We do recognize that the heavy machinery business is a different business,” Farrell said. “We were in it in the past, and we are getting back into it. We know what it takes to keep customers happy, and we believe the investment is worth it. We are exclusive to Hyundai on the front-end loaders and excavators. We have compact equipment, such as chippers, stump grinders, loaders and mini-excavators, but we did not have a large equipment line, until now.”

Farrell added that Modern Group is strong financially and he sees a lot of opportunity in the market.

“We believe [Hyundai’s] vision and our vision lines up very closely with taking care of customers,” he said.

Modern will be selling Hyundai forklifts in the upper part of Delaware and New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and the five boroughs of New York. The construction lines do not currently include New Jersey.

“Modern has a 70-year legacy of equipment distribution and doing it very well and we look forward to adding the Hyundai brand to our portfolio … we are very excited about bringing this product line to our customers,” Farrell said.

“When you look at the products, they [Hyundai] just do a lot of things well,” he added. “They are very well engineered products, a technician told me this was the first forklift line he felt was designed around the needs of a tech to provide the best service experience to the customer.

“We’re excited to take on this brand at this moment in history. I liken it to the car business where a Pontiac dealer made the switch to be a Hyundai dealer in the early 2000s. Looking back on that now it seems to have been a very good bet. Hyundai is committed to succeeding in the northeast market. When you go to their manufacturing plant in South Korea, instead of 20 sales representatives talking to you, it’s usually 20 engineers all wanting to make the best product possible for their customers. It is wonderful to have an OEM partner with that level of commitment and ambition. Modern is well positioned to help that market grow.”

Modern Group also has added to its product offerings: Clark Material Handling; Big Joe electric lift trucks; Terex port solutions and Konecranes lift trucks.

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