Centra Forklifts (Centra) was created from one of New Zealand’s oldest forklift companies, and the last company to manufacture 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. Lees forklifts were manufactured exclusively in Auckland. 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 manufacture of Lees forklifts ceased in 1987, when it inevitably became too expensive to compete in the increasingly deregulated market. However, much of this manufacturing experience and product expertise remains with Centra today.
The original business experienced several different owners 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, where the focus on customer service is paramount. Centra is proud to be 100% privately and New Zealand-owned.
Take a closer look at our company and team through our YouTube photo slideshow.