KION: The Name

The word “Kion” is taken from the language of the Massai. In the tongue of the East African warriors and nomads, “Kion (gozi) means “Take the leadership.”

This expresses a core principle of the KION Group: In many countries, as in all of Europe, KION the number one - the KION Group sets its strategy according to the values of leadership, innovation and performance in order to further develop its technological and market leadership.

KION North America places value on the traditional strengths of material handling, with more than 100 years of experience, to ensure that it continues to provide innovative logistics solutions for our customers in the future.


KION North America Corporation is a member of the KION Group, one of the world’s two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks and the largest manufacturer of electric forklifts. Their brand companies, Linde, Baoli, STILL and Dematic, serve the specific requirements of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets with a comprehensive and complementary product portfolio. Headquartered in Summerville, S.C., KION North America produces material handling equipment known for their innovative technologies, reduced energy consumption and low operating costs.

Our values, leadership, innovation and performance make us what we are. The success of the KION Group can be attributed to the commitment and talents of our team. The KION North America team makes breakthrough innovations that push our products forward, improve our business and delight our customers.


Our History: From the Baker Motor-Vehicle Company to KION North America

1898 – Walter C. Baker establishes the Baker Motor-Vehicle Company for cars with electric motors in Cleveland, Ohio

1915 – The Baker Motor Company merges with the Rauch and Lang Carriage Company and trades under the name of Baker, Rauch & Lang

1930 – Baker R & L develops the first truck that can be operated by a driver while seated

1967 – After becoming part of the Otis Elevator Company, Baker acquires the Moto-Truc Company in Cleveland, a manufacturer of pallet trucks and very narrow aisle trucks

1977 – Baker and Moto-Truc become Baker Material Handling, part of Linde AG

1985 – Linde-Baker opens a production plant covering 225,000 square feet in Summerville, South Carolina

1999 – Baker Material Handling becomes Linde Lift Truck Corporation

2005 – Linde Lift Truck Corporation becomes Linde Material Handling North America

2006 – Linde AG’s material handling business is spun off as an independent company to form the KION Group

2015 – Linde Material Handling North America officially becomes KION North America