Centra Forklifts (Centra) was created from one of New Zealand’s oldest forklift companies. They were also the last company to produce forklifts in New Zealand.
The company originated from the Lees Brothers company formed in 1935. In 1965 Lees Industrial Ltd was formed to manufacture forklifts. The Lees forklift brand is still evident in the market today.
In the late 1970s, Lees began its long association with the Mitsubishi brand. This originally involved importing engines, drive axles and transmissions for use in the Lees brand. From late 1980 Lees began to import fully manufactured Mitsubishi forklifts into the New Zealand market.
The production of Lees forklifts ceased in 1987, as it became too costly to compete in the increasingly deregulated market. However, much of this production experience and product expertise remains with Centra today.
The original business experienced several owners. This happened during the 1980s and 1990s, including Carter Holt Harvey and Caspex Corporation. Since 2007, the business has reverted to private ownership by a leading New Zealand industrialist. Here the focus on customer service is paramount. Centra is proud to be 100% privately and New Zealand-owned.