New Delhi: Air conditioner maker Voltas signed an agreement with Germany-based Kion Group to establish a joint venture in India for developing and servicing industrial trucks and warehousing equipments.

"Voltas' material handling operations will be integrated into a new joint venture company, where Kion Group will hold a majority share," Voltas said in a statement on Saturday.

The new firm will be named Voltas Materials Handling (VMH) and is expected to start operations from April, 2011.

"Kion has know-how and technological leadership in the forklift truck business, so the partnership will help VMH further consolidate its leading position in India," Voltas Ltd
Managing Director Sanjay Johri said.

The Tata-group firm said the joint venture will focus on the Indian market with a a product range that includes diesel/LPG and electric trucks with load capacities of 1.5 to 16 tonnes. The JV firm plans to have 25 branches and dealerships all over India.

"The Voltas brand will continue to expand its product range, particularly in the warehouse-equipment sector. The partnership will ensure long-term sustainability, and we are
well positioned in the Indian forklift truck market," Johri said.

"As part of our long-term strategy, we intend to further invest within this joint venture to take full advantage of the potential of the Indian market," Kion Group CEO Gordon Riske