Even though the British Tanfield Group that manufactures Smith
has a product that should be seeing growing demand in a time of record oil prices, the overall economic malaise is hitting the bottom line. Battery powered Smith
are used primarily by commercial customers and since those customers are getting hit hard they are cutting back on capital expenditures. That means that although Tanfield's business is still growing, the ramp rate has declined. In addition Smith is having issues with suppliers for a number of critical components and the build rate of the electric trucks is slower than planned. As a result, the company has decided to shelve plans to
build a new dedicated factory for the electric trucks
. At current projected build rates they expect to have enough capacity for at least the next year and a half. Tanfield has also decided to scuttle plans for an expansion into the US market and is instead looking for a company already operating here to partner with. As things develop Tanfield plans to review these decisions and if the supply issues are resolved and demand picks up they may revive the factory plans.