The Big Interview

Martin McVicar, Combilift: ‘Offshore wind is an exciting space. We have the secret sauce’

The chief executive of the forklift manufacturer believes his company’s move into offshore wind could add €50m in turnover within three years

Martin McVicar, chief executive and co-founder of Combilift Ltd, at the firm’s manufacturing premises outside Monaghan town. This year, more than 70 per cent of the 10,000 vehicles it produces will be fully electric, while its reliance on diesel engines continues to decline. Picture: Joe Dunne

Martin McVicar is standing on a stage in a room full of some of his most important customers. Behind him, a large screen details the number of machines Combilift, the Monaghan-based forklift manufacturer that he runs, has sold every year for the past 25 years.

Only once in that period, in 2009, have sales volumes fallen for the privately owned engineering company. And the story behind that single drop tells a lot about why Combilift ...