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Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc (HY) Q3 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

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Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc (NYSE: HY)
Q3 2020 Earnings Call
Nov 4, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Hyster-Yale Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I'd now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Christina Kmetko. Thank you. You may begin.

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our 2020 third quarter earnings call. I am Christina Kmetko, and I'm responsible for Investor Relations at Hyster-Yale. Thank you for joining us this morning. Joining me on today's call are Al Rankin, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyster-Yale Materials Handling; Rajiv Prasad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyster-Yale Group; and Ken Schilling, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Yesterday evening we issued our third quarter 2020 results and filed our 10-Q. Copies of our earnings release and 10-Q are available on our website. For anyone who is not able to listen to today's entire call, an archived version of this webcast will be on our website later this afternoon, and available for approximately 12 months.

Our remarks that follow including answers to your questions contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements made here today. These risks include among others, matters that we have described in our earnings release issued last night and in our 10-Q and other filings we make with the SEC. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, which may not be updated until our next quarterly earnings conference call, if at all.

Also, certain amounts discussed during this call may be considered non-GAAP. The non-GAAP reconciliations of these amounts are included in our earnings release and available on our website.

In a moment, I'll discuss our third quarter results. But first, let me turn the call over to our Chairman and CEO, Al Rankin, for some opening remarks. Al?

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Thanks, Christie, and good morning everyone. Thanks for joining us today. The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to [Technical Issues] ongoing challenges on every aspect of our daily lives, and our first priority continues to be, keep our global workforce safe and to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. The spread of this virus, as you all know, began in January [Technical Issues].

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

I'm sorry, Al. You're breaking up.

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

[Technical Issues]

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

Al, I'm sorry.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Hi, sorry David. Cut the [Indecipherable], Al. Sorry.

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Hello, Chrisite.

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

Yes, Al. You are breaking up. We can't hear you. Hello. Rajiv, do you want to give out remarks?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Sure.

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

For those listening on the call, we're sorry. We are having some technical difficulties. So we're going to pivot.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Yeah. So I'll just continue without the remarks a bit. The spread of the virus began back in January as you all know, and despite all the progress we've made since then, the questions were in a -- we were contemplating months ago regarding the depth and duration of the downturn, and the speed and shape of the recovery are still very much with us, especially as we see cases rise again globally. While there are several promising vaccine in process, timing, availability and mass distribution capabilities remain open questions.

Despite these ongoing challenges, our global workforce has remained focused, agile, during this period, effectively navigating and evolving landscape to meet the needs of our customers and deliver solid third quarter financial results. Christie will provide the financial details next, but overall, our business is still feeling the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the effects have moderated from those realized in the second quarter, the significant decline in global economic activities as a result of broad measures taken globally to limit the spread of the virus, specifically early in the second quarter continue to effect demand for our product during the third quarter.

As a result, our third quarter consolidated operating profit and net income was significantly lower than in the prior third quarter. Nevertheless, as a result of higher than anticipated sales of market growth subsequent to the pandemic-related global shut down and the impact of our cost reduction programs, our third quarter 2020 results significantly exceeded our initial expectations and we're continuing to make important investments for the future.

The third quarter results also included a full quarter's benefit associated with several cost reduction measures implemented throughout the first six months of the year. Benefits from these cost containment actions resulted in a decrease in operating expenses of $19.4 million for the third quarter, and $47.3 million year-to-date compared with the respective prior-year period.

In this pandemic-related work environment, the resiliency of our workforce has been impressive and we greatly appreciate their efforts to remain both safe and productive while keeping cost down. Hyster-Yale management team and global workforce have responded confidently and successfully through a variety of challenges therefore. As a result, we believe our employees and our businesses are well positioned to manage through the remainder of this pandemic. Everyone's disciplined execution in the different -- in the current difficult environment has enabled Hyster-Yale to support our dealers and customers, at the same time, work diligently to ensure the health and safety.

After Christie reviews the results of the quarter, I'll discuss our business operations and our strategic program. Ken will then talk about outlook and how we are managing our business through this uncertain and evolving environment.

Let me turn the call over to Christie to cover our results for the quarter. Christie?

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

Thank you, Rajiv. I'll start with the quarter highlights, and then discuss the individual segment. Our third quarter consolidated revenues decreased to $652.4 million, down 14.8% from last year's third quarter, mainly due to lower bookings in the second quarter and the resulting lower settlements, primarily caused by the pandemic-related global effects and the pace of the subsequent forklift truck market recovery.

Our consolidated operating profit also decreased significantly to $7.3 million from $19.5 million in the prior year third quarter due to lower results in all of our segments. However, I want to point out that the 2019 third quarter results included $8.7 million of favorable retroactive tariff exclusion adjustments. If you exclude those out of period adjustments from the prior year results, the decline in operating profit associated with the actual business operations was not a substantial primarily because of lower operating expenses due to the cost containment actions previously implemented.

Net income decreased to $5.1 million or $0.30 per share from $12.8 million or $0.76 per share in the prior year quarter. I'd also like to note that the third quarter is generally our seasonally low quarter as a result of normal summer plant shutdowns, and customary lower third quarter production schedules at our manufacturing plant.

Turning specifically to the Lift Truck business, Hyster-Yale Group's third quarter revenues decreased 14.7% to $618.7 million from $725.3 million in 2019, primarily due to fewer shipments in the Americas and EMEA segment. Consolidated shipments decreased by approximately 2,900 units due to fewer shipments in all the Class 1 electric counterbalanced trucks in the Americas and JAPIC segments, and Class 3 warehouse trucks in EMEA and JAPIC. Rajiv will provide more detail about our bookings and shipments in a moment.

Third quarter 2020 operating profit in the Lift Truck business decreased 42.1% from the prior year quarter mainly because of a decrease in gross profit in all segments due to lower unit and parts volume, as well as the absence of the favorable retroactive tariff exclusion adjustments I previously mentioned.

In the Americas and JAPIC segments, the decrease in gross profit was partially offset by lower operating expenses, primarily as a result of cost containment actions previously implemented. In EMEA, the decline in gross profit was more than offset by the favorable impact of the cost containment actions, combined with $1.6 million of government subsidies, which combined resulted in an increase in EMEA's third quarter operating profit over 2019.

At the Bolzoni segment, revenues decreased 16.5%, and Bolzoni reported operating profit of $100,000 compared with operating profit of $700,000 for the 2019 third quarter. The decrease in revenues was due to lower sales resulting from the decline in global economic activity subsequent to the pandemic-related shutdowns. The decrease in operating profit was also mainly because of lower sales volume, but the decline was partially offset by lower operating expenses due to the cost containment actions taken.

Finally, at Nuvera, revenues was $700,000 in the third quarter of 2020, down from $2.4 million in the prior year, and Nuvera's operating loss decreased modestly to $8.7 million from $9.3 million in 2019. The revenue decrease was primarily the result of a decrease in third-party fuel cell development services. The improvement in operating results was driven by lower inventory adjustments in the 2020 third quarter, compared with the prior year, as well as the favorable effect of cost containment actions. Those are the results for the quarter.

Now let me turn this over to Rajiv, who will provide an update on our operations and our strategic program.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Thanks, Christie. As I said, I continue to be very proud of the hard work and disciplined execution of our global workforce as we continue to work through the challenges brought on by COVID-19 pandemic. Across the company, we have focused on maintaining the safety of our employees and preventing the spread of the virus. We have a good track record in doing that. However, the recent resurgence in cases is creating new uncertainties and added stress. And it is important as -- it is as important as ever that we are diligent and maintain strong safety procedures despite the pandemic fatigue many of us are experiencing. Let me reiterate, I'm very proud of our workforce for their ability to stay focused and effective in these uncertain times, including maintaining the protocols we have established to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Moving on to our operations. As the economies continue to reopen in 2020 third quarter, as we mentioned, lift truck market activity improved faster than anticipated, with market ending the quarter at roughly pre-pandemic level. Excluding China, which increased 78% over the prior year third quarter, the global lift truck market was down less than 1% compared with the third quarter of 2019. Compared to second quarter of 2020, the global lift truck market increased 22.5% in the 2020 third quarter, driven by a 28.8% increase in EMEA, and a 25.9% increase in Americas, as well as a 19.7% increase in China. These market improvement over the second quarter translated into a solid increase in our 2020 third quarter bookings.

During the third quarter, our unit shipments decreased from prior year's third quarter but were higher than the second quarter. Third quarter shipments were down because of substantially lower bookings in the second quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic-related shutdown and the lower production rate that we put in place to match market condition.

While shipments were down from the prior year, third quarter bookings were comparable to the 2019 third quarter, but were up substantially from the second quarter of 2020. Our global demand steadily improved throughout the third quarter, specifically in our primary markets of Americas and EMEA. Bookings in each month of the third quarter continued the steady upward trend that began back in May. Also, our September booking increased substantially over August, reaching a level that exceeded the September 2019 booking.

While we continue to carefully manage our backlog and shipment, so that our lead times and production rates match market conditions during this period of uncertainty, the strong third quarter bookings led to a modest increase in our ending backlog over the second quarter. Additionally, as markets and industries where our position is stronger had begun to recover, we have experienced a change in the mix of product which have resulted in a higher average price per unit in both bookings and backlogs for the 2020 third quarter compared with the 2020 second quarter. As market conditions improve, we expect that increased bookings and strategic programs we continue to pursue will position each of our businesses to recover to sound long-term financial returns.

Now let me spend just a few minutes talking about our strategic program. Despite the uncertainty regarding near-term economic activity, we continue to be committed to our long-term strategy. The projects required to execute our strategy continue to move forward. But in light of COVID-19 pandemic, the pace of certain projects have been given greater emphasis than others to reduce near-term operating expense and capital expenditures.

While we are committing -- while we are continuing to introduce a number of new products during this period, our primary focus in the Lift Truck business is on a set of new modular scalable product families covering both internal combustion engine and electric trucks. We have been focused on maintaining the timing of the introduction of the first of these products which is the standard version of the 2-to-3 ton internal combustion engine lift truck for the EMEA market. This version is expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2021. The launch of this new heart of the line range of 2-to-3 ton counterbalanced trucks will continue throughout 2021, with trucks for the Americas market expected to be launched in the second half of 2021. We expect the modular nature of these new products to enhance our ability to meet customer needs at lower cost and with more application specificity, both at the industry level and at the individual customer level.

In this rapidly changing environment, we have accelerated our focus on finalizing and implementing our industry strategies and our investment in industry focused sales capabilities to support our dealers. Given this COVID-19 environment, we have also focused on enhancing our remote selling capabilities through technology and IT enhancements.

Bolzoni continues to focus on its Americas growth strategy, including strengthening its ability to serve the North America market through the supply of cylinders and various other components from its Sulligent, Alabama plant, and introducing a broad range of locally produced attachments with shorter lead times to service customer base. Bolzoni is also implementing its One Company-Three brands structural approach which will help streamline back office operations and strengthen its Americas and JAPIC commercial operations.

Nuvera continues to focus on serving heavy-duty applications, particularly bus and truck applications, with its 45-kilowatt engine, which was released for sale during the 2020 second quarter. It also continues to focus on lift truck market. During the second quarter of 2020, Nuvera, which had successfully achieved certification of its 45-kilowatt engine for China in 2019, received its first integrating certification which allows the engines to operate in buses.

During the third quarter, testing of these engines in China -- Chinese buses was completed for one company, and that company has now included the certified bus design in its sales catalog. Certification of other bus companies are expected late in the fourth quarter of 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021. As a result of these milestones, Nuvera has accelerated the 45-kilowatt commercialization operation for the global market and is focusing on ramping up the sale of this product in the fourth quarter of 2020 and in 2021.

Nuvera is also developing a new engine that will be approximately 60-kilowatt for the Chinese market that is expected to begin the certification process during the fourth quarter. The engine certification for this engine is expected to be received during the 2020 fourth quarter, with vehicle integration certification expected to be completed in late quarter or early in the first quarter of 2021. Overall, it is our intention to emerge stronger from this pandemic and to thrive as business conditions improve. We believe our prioritized strategic programs will put us in that position.

I'll now turn the call over to Ken for an update on our thoughts regarding future quarters and measures taken to enhance liquidity. Ken?

Kenneth C. Schilling -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Rajiv. Our recent market and booking activity is encouraging and growth since the 2020 second quarter shutdowns has been better than expected. The level of our future bookings is still uncertain. The trend line for bookings is improving, but improvements are occurring at a decreasing rate and the COVID-19 cases are increasing. Overall, we continue to operate on the assumption that the economic and market environment will remain difficult throughout the remainder of 2020 with COVID-19 cases expected to increase in areas entering the winter season, and in 2021 as well, until an effective COVID-19 vaccination or alternative therapy is widely available.

While we may not be able to control the macroeconomic factors that drive the demand for our product, we are aggressively executing on actions that are within our control to keep our employees healthy as COVID-19 cases once again spike in many of the countries around the globe and on moderating any resulting additional near-term financial impact from the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning late in the first quarter, we put in plans -- we put in place plans to mitigate the impact of declining markets and bookings, and the consequential impact of reduced manufacturing activity from pandemic-related shutdowns by initiating cost reduction measures which were designed for lower cost and enhanced liquidity. Despite currently improving markets, we expect these measures to remain in place until the market and economic uncertainty dissipates and results improve, which we anticipate will occur over the course of 2021. We expect these cost reduction actions to achieve $60 million to $75 million in operating expense savings in 2020 compared to 2019, of which approximately $47 million have been realized through the end of the third quarter.

As Rajiv has mentioned, we also adjusted production levels at our manufacturing plants during the 2020 second quarter to align them more closely with the anticipated reduced demand and targeted booking levels. Throughout the third quarter, we increased production moderately to adjust for improved market levels and we anticipate an increasing production further in the fourth quarter given the expected bookings and backlog barring of course any new government shutdowns.

Based on our current backlog levels and plant production levels, we expect to have adequate component supply and minimal open production slots over the remainder of the year. This is expected to position us with both competitive lead times and acceptable ongoing backlog. We will continue to focus on adjusting production levels quickly to match the market in booking changes and working closely with our suppliers to ensure appropriate component supply as our production levels change. Given these factors, we expect our fourth quarter 2020 operating profit and net income to be significantly higher than both 2020 third quarter and the prior year fourth quarter.

Let me take a step back and explain that our expectations for the fourth quarter were established prior to the most recent spikes of COVID-19 cases as seen in a number of countries, including our largest markets. This environment could develop into a headwind for our current fourth quarter booking expectations. Further, we or some of our suppliers may need to shutdown. Renewed measures have already been taken in number of European countries to mitigate the spread of virus and similar actions are likely be taken by other countries.

At this time, the new measures put in place have not had a significant impact on our plants or suppliers. However, we are monitoring the evolving situation, including monitoring closely a number of suppliers based in areas where cases are spiking. We are prepared to take further actions if necessary to maintain the health and safety of our global employees and to address any production and supply chain issues which may develop. More broadly, as a result, the pandemic-related uncertainties continue to limit our ability to forecast booking levels for 2021.

In addition to our focus on cost containment actions, we've also focused on actions to enhance our cash flow before financing, including reducing our working capital and reducing or deferring capital expenditures which we now expect capital expenditures to be approximately $61 million for the full year 2020. Our 2020 third quarter cash flow before financing improved significantly over the second quarter and over the prior year third quarter, helping to generate $46.3 million of cash flow before financing for the nine months ended September 30, 2020.

Enhancing our liquidity potential also continues to be a priority. At September 30, 2020, our cash on hand was $89.9 million and debt was at $297.7 million, compared to cash on hand of $60.5 million and debt of $337.7 million at the end of the second quarter. Encouragingly, our net debt improved $69.4 million to $207.8 million from $277.2 million at the end of the second quarter.

In addition, as of September 30, we have unused borrowing capacity of approximately $260 million under our existing revolving credit facilities compared with $218 million at the end of the second quarter. Looking to the future in the context of an improving booking trends, we plan to increase our investment in working capital to support the forecasted growth in our business.

Al, if you're -- if your line is now secure, can you -- I'll return the call back to you.

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Thanks, Ken. Before I turn the call over for questions, let me say that Hyster-Yale is very strong, and we have an outstanding group of leaders and employees who have effectively managed production and supply chain disruptions and kept Hyster-Yale on a positive path in the period since the pandemic began. We can't let up as the pandemic is still with us, but I'm reassured by the strength and resilience of our people and believe we will deliver solid sales and earnings performance over the long-term.

Now let me open up the call for any questions that you may have.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Ramya Sri [Phonetics] with Infosys. Your line is open. Ramya Sri, your line is open.

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

We can't hear you if you're asking questions. I'm sorry.

Operator

Your next question comes from Michael Sesser with DWS. Your line is open.

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

Hi, thanks. Can you guys comment on the significance of completing the certification for that 45-kilowatt engines that you remarked about?

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Rajiv, do you want to take that?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Yeah, sure. So, you know to apply these engines in China, you have to go through two types of certification, one is at the engine level and the other one is at the vehicle level. The engine level certification is called SMVIC. And once that's approved, then you can start working with vehicle integrators to integrate those engines and certify the whole vehicle with the fuel cell system, and that's called MMIT [Phonetics] certification. So as we stated, we have done that with our 45-kilowatt engine and one OEM in China which is now available for orders.

Now what's also happening in China is, there's some changes to this subsidy regulation. So a large number of customers are waiting for that to stabilize. What it may require is a higher power engine and that part of the reason why we are developing the 60-kilowatt engine which is going into the certification process right now -- going through it right now. So now we feel that the 45-kilowatt is the right solution for these kind of medium-sized buses, so in 8 meter to 10 meter, 11 meter buses. So we will continue to market that, elsewhere we were talking to other customers in Asia and Europe about that engine, and then we are starting to talk about the 60-kilowatt engines with our customers in China.

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

So the way -- based on the way things have evolved over the last year or so since you guys did the Analyst Day, how is your long-term outlook for Nuvera changed or has it not changed at all?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Our outlook for Nuvera is very good. We feel we are at the kind of right point for acceleration. If you have seen in the marketplace, there is hydrogen fuel cells starting to be talked about as the primary replacement for internal combustion engine, particularly in the short to medium-term for heavy duty vehicles which are buses, vans, trucks, and some of the larger vehicle platform. And we are having discussions with a large number of OEMs about the solutions. So we feel good about where we are and I think we are -- as the market turns, up we think we're well positioned to participate in the primary -- in some key platforms that will integrate fuel cell.

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

So given that...

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

I think I'd just add to that that real significance of passing those certification tests is that our commercialization programs can go into a high gear. The most immediate markets volume appear to be in China, but other markets are emerging in segments in both the Americas, North America and in Europe. But the -- at Nuvera, the focus is beginning to shift from ensuring that we have the right engine and the right engine variances that -- variance that is 60-kilowatt engine to commercialization and really beginning to drive revenue over the next couple of years. So we're moving into quite a different phase at Nuvera as a result of passing those certifications.

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

Great. And so, what should we be looking -- as investors, what should we be -- what milestones should we be looking for to track the progress of this commercialization and the revenue ramp?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Well, we will be reporting in our regular quarterly meetings on the level of orders and the kind of shipments that we think we may be seeing, now we will be very careful how we do that to make sure that the timing of those is fully agreed upon by not only us and our customers, but by the end users of the products. So that's what you're going to be watching for. But we're not going to forecast way in advance. We're going to let the process work through, get the orders and then make the shipments.

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

Okay. And just maybe two final follow-up questions. Do you -- given where you are now with the focus is shifting to commercialization, are you thinking about strategic partnerships or is Hyster-Yale the best entity to pursue the commercialization?

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

We're always thinking about alternatives to move forward in the best possible way. We wouldn't comment on those in advance except to point out that there are many segments in the total addressable market and that some sort of alliances would probably be necessary, including sales arrangements, dedicated sales arrangements with potential customers in different segments as we move forward. So it's going to be an orderly process of figuring out the best way to sort through the most attractive segments of the market and how best to participate in them. Rajiv, do you have anything to add to that? I think that probably lays out the approach we're taking.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Yeah, I think, that's a good summary, Al.

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

Okay. Just final follow-up. Given the increased attention to hydrogen fuel cells as a technology, do you have any thoughts on where Nuvera steps within the competitive landscape?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Yeah, maybe I can take this one, Al. So if you think about the fuel cell, there are some critical attributes that you need to have and we feel good about the attributes that Nuvera had. For instance, one of the critical one is power density, both from -- how much power a unit weight of fuel cell can generate or north of unit volume. As you can imagine, both weight and volumes are very critical for OEMs, and we feel we are leading in that area because of our open flow field architecture. The other area is robustness. As you know, our kind of basic structure of the fuel cell is based on stainless steel where a number of our competitors are using different types of substrate, such as graphite, which we feel is less appropriate for motive power. The last area is working within the Nuvera and Hyster-Yale Group, we were applied in a fuel cells to forklift trucks. And in that process, we've learned a significant amount about how to manage the fuel cell as it transitions into an engine and how it significantly increase the robustness of the solution. So I think those three parameters we feel we're in either leading or among the leaders in those parameters, which are critical to both OEM and system integrators.

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Now let me just add to that the backdrop for everything that Rajiv just outlined is very significant patent position in a fuel cell solution, which is different from many -- from our competitors. And we think that it gives us a very good position for a long-term success, especially in heavy duty motive applications of various kinds, but also in other segments of the market.

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

Great. Thank you for answering all my questions.

Operator

Your next question comes from Mike Shlisky with Colliers Securities. Your line is open.

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Hey guys, good morning. And I mean, I'd say a great job on the opening comments. That's the true definition of teamwork -- from Hyster-Yale for quite a long time now. Great work on that. I will ask some questions about Lift Truck. But I want to follow-up with a few questions of my own on Nuvera. I guess, first of all, just a bit more on the opportunity in the US for some of the on-highway applications of fuel cell systems. I guess, do you have to get a different kind of certifications for any of your engines if you wanted to have them on US highways? That's my first question.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Yes, I'll take this. It's Rajiv. Again, certifications by region, so kind of a set of requirements to drive integration into commercial trucks in North America, a different set of requirements are driven by Europe, and in Japan, Japan has some set of requirement. And you do need to certify. There is a lot of consistency in certification, but they are a little different for each market.

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Okay. And then I would love to hear your comments on the fuel cell -- fuel infrastructure across the US. Have you gotten any feel for whether there are any major companies out there that are developing the kind of infrastructure that you need to fuel -- a fuel cell truck all along a kind of long distance route? Or are you expecting mostly adopters of any on-highway equipment to be return to base operations with their own infrastructure?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

So maybe I'll take this first, and then I'm sure AI will have some comments. From my point of view, the way we should look at hydrogen is a number of stages. Firstly, hydrogen is widely -- it is an abundant material. It's in a large number, and it's in water, it's in a carbon field. So availability of hydrogen is not an issue. The dissociation of hydrogen from a molecule to an atom is also pretty straightforward, electrolyte it or use something like a reforming methodologies to separate out the hydrogen. So that's well understood. So making hydrogen is not an issue. The third area is around the distribution of hydrogen. Again, hydrogen distribution could be very analogous to carbon field, to gasoline. You could use the same type of stations to distribute it. So I think there is nothing in the physics, the chemistry or the economics of hydrogen that a barrier is case of demand driving it. Now we do feel the biggest application of -- if you take North America as an example, the biggest implementation of fuel cells in North America has been on forklift trucks, because you can have local fueling. We expect that to trend out, so we expect hydrogen as I've talked about, it's been around buses which come back to some sort of central fueling source, delivery trucks, vans, which come back to a central source. But we think in the short to medium-term, it is going to be more in vehicles that do have a bit -- some sort of refueling center to come back to like a depot. But over time, there is a huge amount of work going on with -- in a various groups in each of the regions to create a hydrogen infrastructure. And as I said, the barriers to that aren't big, it is just what will drive it is the need of it.

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

The only thing I'd add to that is that, once hydrogen is produced, it's relatively straightforward to put it under pressure and shipping. So in that sense, it's analogous to gasoline. And as Rajiv suggested, there are going to be the specialized depots and manufacturing plants that have their own refueling systems and those maybe the hubs for further expansion of refueling as hydrogen becomes more adopted. So there's a lot of flexibility. I don't think there's going to be any one solution, but there are no real technical challenges. It's going to be a very practical matter of getting it transported to the end user in a most efficient way possible as the volumes increase. And as the volumes increase, there are going to be more outlets of different kinds. So it's going to be a very much an evolutionary process.

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Okay. That's great color. Thanks so much. Thank you so much for that. I wanted to also turn to from Ken's comment there at the end. You had mentioned you're just kind of tracking some of your suppliers during the pandemic as some new markets shutdown. Can you maybe comment on how your orders spared during October? And then how the orders spared during in particular [Phonetics] regions or areas that actually have shut down? Have you seen any kind of shut down in activity over the last couple of weeks here?

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Rajiv, do you want to comment on that?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Sure. Thanks for the question. So the -- what we have seen is continued market as we've made in our comments, some of that has continued into October. But we have started to see some impact, particularly in Europe, where as you know, some of the lockdowns have recently taken significant impact. And what we are seeing is not that our pipeline is deteriorating, but what's happening is that our customers are taking longer to make decisions. So that's pushing out some of the orders that were in our plans. But to a certain extent, we did anticipate this when we saw the initial rise. In Europe, we are in a good position. We have -- as you can see from the backlog, we have a good backlog in Europe. So we feel that we can go through this in good shape. North America continues to be strong. And then China is -- as we've said, China is very, very strong and it's driven by some economic drivers that the government's driving as well as some of our competitors are being very aggressive in China, which is increasing the volume in China. Asia is a little split. Some parts of Asia is doing very well, other parts are essentially shutdown. So that's a mixed story.

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Okay.

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

I'll maybe just add one other backdrop to the answer to that question. In the first round of COVID-19, the disease was obviously not well understood. There were lots of questions. And as a result, the concept of a lockdown tended to embrace almost all elements of the economy, relatively few were left open. I think what we found is that factories, warehouses, physical operations can adjust to COVID conditions. They can have reasonable social distancing, very good health protection measures, testing, strict oversight and rules. That certainly what we're doing in all of our plants. But the broader result is that as we look at it in the second round, we don't think the focus of the lockdown of activities is going to be on manufacturing the way it was in the first round. So that gives us real encouragement that any slowdowns that we see are really of the type that Rajiv mentioned, delays in communication processes, and sign offs, and things of that nature. But the need is there, and if the factories continue to work as we think is most likely that the opportunity is going to be increasingly there over the next year.

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Okay. That's great color as well. Can I also ask about your parts and service business? [Indecipherable] in the quarter that you're seeing enough parts business coming in that you encouraged that your machines are being used in the fields adequately or appropriately and enough? Or do you think you've got some more to go you think on parts and service in the fourth quarter?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Yeah. Maybe I can take that one, Al, and then you could make some comment.

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Okay.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

We think that we're continuing to see good parts requirements in the marketplace. There is another way we can -- at least in North America we can have a good sense for what the demand is for our lift trucks in terms of their usage, because we have telemetry on around 50,000 units in North America, pretty much in every industry. And again, we've seen -- we did see a drop in daily usage on forklift trucks in -- when we were in April and May. But then -- since then, we've seen a steady improvement and now we've -- since around August-September we've flat lined every day to what we would consider to be mature productivity for these customers. So I think that's where we find ourselves. Again, in Europe, as Al said, there is -- the lockdown is much more associated with home and rather than work, and we're continuing to see good demand in Europe as well.

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Okay. And maybe I just drill one last one in here. I appreciate your comments Rajiv about introducing some of the modular products over the next year or so, that's been coming for a while now. Well, it's finally working. Can you clarify maybe two things. One, has that project been pulled forward, thanks to COVID-19, we had more time to focus on it? I wasn't sure if your comment meant that you're going to be able to do as fast or better than your plans?

And then perhaps secondly, are any competitors are really offering products like this that have this modular capabilities and are there any changes that you've seen in performance with these products, compared to the old versions? And any changes to how you fix them or how you service them?

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Yeah, that's a big question and...

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Long question.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

As COVID impacted the development, I think, marginally, we've had our development center operating throughout the pandemic. A large number of engineers are working from home, which has allowed our testing centers to be reconfigured so that people can socially distance and complete our test. As -- and as normal development issues come along, you know they have resolved it. We do have a ramp introduction planned for this platform, and so it will progressively introduce new versions. The start of it, both in terms of models, but also in terms of geography. So we expect this products to be launched in as I -- first part of 2021 and then throughout over the next two years or three years, depending on geography and the types of models. So It's a pretty extensive program. It'll -- over the next five years it will replace everything we do. So it's very, very significant in terms of the investment the Company is making, but also the improvement it brings with it. And so I'll turn to that. We've -- the truck that we're designing are very customer-centric in two ways. Firstly for the operator, the productivity is greatly enhanced, the ergonomics is greatly enhanced. The power sources made available are varied, kind of from ICU to fuel cell, and different types of batteries.

Then on the other side, the modularity side what it allows us to do is to configure the right solution for our customers' application and optimal solution, which invariably will give them the lowest cost of ownership. So the modular and scalable nature of this design allows us to do that. Do we have competitors who can do it? There are some competitors that have taken a modular approach, but we haven't come across any competitors that have taken it to the degree we have with our modular -- modularity and scalability, and the way we are applying it to our complete project range -- product range.

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Okay. Well, thanks so much for answering my questions. Appreciate it.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your next question comes from Ramya Sri [Phonetics] from Infosys. Your line is open.

Ramya Sri -- Infosys -- Analyst

Hello?

Operator

Ramya Sri, your line is open. We have no further questions at this time.

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

Okay. Again, thank you everybody for joining us today. We do appreciate your interest. And if you do have any additional questions, please give me a call. My phone number and information is on the earnings release. Thanks so much. Have a great day.

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Thank you.

Operator

This concludes today's conference call. Today's replay will be available starting 2 PM, Eastern Central Time, until Wednesday November, 11. Participants may listen to the replay by dialing 800-585-8367 or 416-621-4642, using the passcode 6560609. Thank you. You may now disconnect.

Duration: 54 minutes

Call participants:

Christina Kmetko -- Investor Relations Consultant

Alfred M. Rankin -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Hyster-Yale Group

Rajiv K. Prasad -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyster-Yale Group

Kenneth C. Schilling -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Michael Sesser -- DWS -- Analyst

Mike Shlisky -- Colliers Securities -- Analyst

Ramya Sri -- Infosys -- Analyst

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