Business performance continued to improve in the Americas
In the Americas, market growth was good. Demand for new equipment was driven mainly by high investment activity in office, hotel, hospital and commercial developments. In the United States, the multi-family residential market weakened somewhat and the single-house market was very weak. The residential segment constitutes approximately one-third of the new construction market in the United States.
The markets accessible to KONE expanded due to greater market acceptance of machine-room-less (MRL) solutions and KONE’s advanced MonoSpace® product family (known as KONE EcoSpace® in the United States). The machine-room-less range has been developed systematically to meet local needs and it now covers almost the whole hydraulic segment. MRL equipment represents already 40 percent of all elevators on the United States market and is increasingly becoming the design choice for low-rise buildings.
In the Americas, efforts to improve KONE’s business performance proceeded well and profitability continued to strenghten. In Mexico, KONE continued to maintain a strong position in the new equipment market, while building customer awareness and confidence in its solutions. Favorable business progress was driven by expansion outside of Mexico City. In addition, a stable economic environment supported heavy investment in hotel and retail properties. In Canada, KONE progressed strongly in the new equipment markets.
The modernization market performed well in the Americas, with demand being driven by the need to replace aging equipment, renovate facilities and upgrade services for tenants. At the moment, the modernization market in the United States accounts for almost one-third of the global modernization
market. KONE’s advanced elevator and escalator modernization solutions have substantially increased customer demand. For example, the KONE EcoMod™ escalator used in modernizations is currently the industry-leading solution.
In the Americas, maintenance market remained very competitive. KONE’s maintenance operations performed well, supported by the new service concepts and field mobility tools launched in conjunction with KONE’s development programs. In Canada, KONE managed to increase its service contract retention rate.
In 2007, KONE was awarded its most valuable escalator modernization project ever for the McCarran International Airport (MIA) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In Chicago, KONE agreed on the design, delivery and installation of all elevators for the Mandarin Oriental Tower Chicago. When completed, the multi-purpose building will be one of the tallest buildings in Chicago.
Americas headquarters established in Chicago
KONE implemented an organizational change in the United States during the second half of the year. The objective is to improve customer focus and responsiveness, increase cross-functional synergies and raise productivity. As part of the development, KONE will establish its Americas headquarters in the Chicago area in the beginning of 2008.