Yale locks were made in Philly. So were Yale hoists and Yale Forklift trucks. I worked for Yale for many years as an engineer, a future product planner, a program manager and as the International Marketing Manager. I was familiar with all of the manufacturing facilities where Yale products were manufactured and became responsible for marketing them worldwide, except for the U.S. and Europe. Over the years I learned all of the elements that went into manufacturing a Yale Forklift.

Yale had business interests and local partners in scores of countries around the globe. Yale agreed to partner with Sumitomo to make Yale forklifts in Japan. In 1977 the forklift made in Japan cost about $8,500 and the one made in Philly cost $18,500. Either one would lift 2 tons.

Which Yale forklift would you buy?

See the problem for making things in America? That’s why Yale closed the 20 acre manufacturing plant in Philly. The smokestack is still visible in the 11,000 block of Roosevelt Blvd. I was sad to see the 3,000 jobs eliminated. Japan did the same job with 800 people. There was no decision to “export” the business or the jobs to Japan. That’s what happened.

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