KONE began its elevator business on the ground floor and is working its way up. The US subsidiary of Finland's KONE sells, manufactures, upgrades, and maintains elevators, escalators, and autowalks. The company's line of products range from eco-friendly (using no oil) traction elevators designed for low-rise office buildings to high-performance elevators used in skyscrapers standing more than 100 stories tall. KONE's escalators and autowalks, designed for indoor or outdoor use, are commonly installed in airports, stadiums, subways, and shopping malls. The company accounts for about one-fifth of its parent company's elevator and escalator sales.
The economic recession's impact on construction market demand for new equipment has prompted KONE to expand its capabilities. The company aims to capitalize on infrastructure opportunities to modernize the elevators and escalators operating in urban markets, where approximately 20% of elevator and escalator systems are more than 20 years old.
Mergers and Acquisitions
KONE routinely acquires regionally-based companies that strengthen its position in different US markets. In 2012 it acquired San Francisco-based Ascent Elevator Services, Inc., which has significant market share in the Bay Area. That year it also bought Eagle Elevator Corporation in a deal that increased its penetration in the Minneapolis market.
KONE made a handful of acquisitions in 2011 that bolstered its service offerings in other key markets, including Long Elevator & Machine Co. (Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri), A-Lift Elevator (Oregon), and CNIM Canada Inc. (Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa metropolitan areas). KONE entered Hawaii after acquiring Honolulu-based service provider Akamai Elevator. – less