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At 80, Taylor Machine Works thriving in global economy

Manufacturing businesses that started 80 years ago that are still successful in today’s world economy are rare. What is even more rare is when those are family-owned businesses.

Taylor Machine Works Inc., a subsidiary of The Taylor Group in Louisville, has successfully grown through the Great Depression, World War II and the transition to the global economy to become one of the Mississippi’s leading private companies with $175 million in annual sales providing employment to more than 750 people. The company, best known for its Big Red lift trucks, has an annual payroll of approximately $32 million.

“We are very honored and proud of the role Taylor Machine Works has been able to play in the growth and development of Mississippi in general and Louisville specifically during the last 80 years,” said W. A. “Lex” Taylor III, president of The Taylor Group. “During these years, Mississippi has grown from its agricultural roots to become a significant player in industrial and business communities around the world, and Taylor Machine Works has grown and prospered as a key component in this transformation.”

On April 27, Taylor Machine Works, which has seen record growth over the past few years, celebrated its 80th anniversary. The celebration included dedication of the company’s new Engineering and Operations Center Building. This latest addition to the Taylor facilities provides 13,200 square feet of additional office space on two floors. The building provides a contemporary environment for the company’s engineering and production operations departments.

“We are an engineering company at the heart of it,” Taylor said. “We will design and build what the customer needs. That has been the principal mainstay for our company from the start. Being reactionary to what customers need is what you have to do to stay on top. There is too much competitive pressure that sends customers elsewhere if you don’t respond to their needs.”

Taylor said as the technology demanded for industry and commerce has dramatically expanded, Taylor’s engineering and manufacturing craftsmen have been on the leading edge of efforts to solve the challenges expansion has brought.

“Taylor Machine Works today utilizes state-of-the-art production equipment and technologies, the latest in computer-assisted engineering resources and highly trained marketing professionals to assist each customer meet the performance challenges of his business with efficiency, productivity, dependability and safety,” Taylor said.

Taylor Machine Works has experienced record growth over the past several years.

“We are the only manufacturer left in the U.S. doing this size lift trucks in a broad range of capacity,” Taylor said. “All of our competition is offshore, principally in Europe and Scandinavia.”

Taylor said a key factor contributing to The Taylor Group’s success is a stable workforce.

“Our employees tend to stay with us, and we are very thankful for that,” Taylor said. “We strive to have a good company to work for. That helps greatly.”

For more information on Taylor, visit www.taylorbigred.com.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Becky Gillette at bgillette@bellsouth.net.

About Becky Gillette

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