Local Business

McHenry native takes reins at UniCarriers Americas

MARENGO – A growing local manufacturing business with worldwide reach now has a McHenry native at the helm.

And Anthony Salgado has manufacturing growth – and more of the well-paying jobs that come with it – on his mind.

Salgado, 43, took over Oct. 1 as president of UniCarriers Americas, the Marengo plant responsible for building forklifts for the company’s Western Hemisphere market and its network of 300 dealerships throughout the Americas. He takes over for Akiri Shiki, who was appointed chief operating officer for parent UniCarriers Corp., based in Tokyo.

UniCarriers assumed the name earlier this year with a merger of forklift manufacturers Nissan Forklift and TCM.

“I’m very pleased. I’ve been given this opportunity, and I take it very seriously,” Salgado said.

Salgado graduated in 1988 from McHenry West High School, and was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering. He spent six years in the Navy, and worked for GE before and just after returning to McHenry County.

He started with UniCarriers – then Nissan Forklift – in 2001 as senior manager of quality. Salgado’s responsibilities increased over the years to include manufacturing engineering, warranty support and after-market service, and in 2008 he was promoted to vice president of manufacturing.

In a statement, Shiki called Salgado’s appointment “a clear indication of our confidence in his leadership,” and that the team with Salgado at the helm is “in the best position to truly understand and serve the Americas market.”

“As we continue to focus on successfully growing and expanding our core business as a material handling solutions provider, Mr. Salgado has my full support, as well as that of the board of directors, and I expect that the UniCarriers Americas business will continue to be the benchmark within our global organization,” Shiki said.

The plant employs 500 people and manufactures between 12,000 and 15,000 forklifts a year. It has added 80 employees in the past year as the market has grown, and Salgado projects UniCarriers will be adding a second shift in the next two or three years. Salgado has his eyes on the market in Brazil – the nation has the largest economy in Latin America, the second-largest in the Western Hemisphere behind the U.S., and the sixth-largest economy in the world by nominal GDP.

UniCarriers Corp. employs 4,500 people worldwide and made $1.9 billion last year.

Salgado said the company’s strategy is to become one the top global manufacturers of forklifts over the next eight years. And that growth, he added, will mean growth, revenue and jobs locally.

“I’m very pleased to be a part of this organization, and all we’ve accomplished, and all we’re giving back to our employees and our community,” Salgado said.

Salgado lives in Richmond with his wife and three children.

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