Back in 1956 Maurici Perramon, Antoni Tacho, Guillem Tacho and Joseph Vila, set up the Automoviles Utilitarios Sociadad Anomina or AUSA for short and set about making compact vehicles produced under the brand name PVT after their initials, but as the micro car market became under significant pressure from big global car manufacturer they diversified into compact industrial vehicles.
Makers has a big history of using AUSA forklifts in particular the CE11M which some units dating back as far as 1998 and have proven great workhorses for our sites especially in the car park refurbishment market. Standing just under 1.8m and capable of carrying a payload of around 1.0 Tonne these versatile vehicles have proven their value through the years on many projects.
In 1961 AUSA started producing dumpers for the Iberian market and after initial success used their dumper design as a predecessor for their first all-terrain forklift the CE800 introduced in 1967 these small forklifts had a lifting capability of 800KG.
In a move to reduce dependence on the Iberian market the AUSA brand expanded into France near Perpignan then began exporting to the continents of Africa and South America around 1977. It’s expansion increased demand for both more units and newer models and so in 1996 the CE11 was launched. A compact forklift with a small footprint, developed from a dumper chassis, initially powered by an ISUZU engine this small rough terrain forklift could lift just over 1000Kg.
This production run, ran from 1996 – 2005 where it was then replaced with the CE11M. This model had many improvements upon the original mainly the addition of a sideshift cradle and move to a Kubota engine power plant.
Over the years Makers has acquired AUSA CE11M’s through the second-hand market, as the business grew so did a need and demand resulting in 5 forklift rebuilds from second hand, broken and scrapped units. Undergoing a full nut and bolt refurbishment our first dedicated forklifts became the “Pink Ladies” each one completely hand built. After 12 months of restoration the Pink Ladies were revealed in 2010 in dedication to the Mums of colleagues lost to cancer; Iris, Lilly, Molly, Nancy and Maureen.
Sadly, Iris is now retired as replacement parts and her age made it uneconomical to keep her on the fleet.
As the business demands grew our requirement also grew resulting in the purchase of 2 new additional CE11M’s back in March 2017. As business demands grew we moved our logistics operation to a new facility called “The Yard” and after the loss of a close friend Ian Dickerson, fondly known as “Dicko” we commissioned the full refurbishment of a CE11M that would be known as “Dicko of the Yard” to be used solely for the unloading and loading at our storage facility.
Dicko was apparelled in blue to represent Ian’s job who was an ex policeman and the colour of his favourite team Chesterfield known as The Spireites. Dicko was created from 2 donor vehicles and still is active at our facility.
We move to current times and those of the pandemic, where AUSA announce back in 2019 that the production of the CE11M will cease and its replacement be introduced… the C201H Urban Forklift.
This “urban beast” now sits at 2.09M high has an automatic gear box weighs in at nearly 3 tonnes and can lift a two-tonne payload. Comes with hydrostatic drives and range of mast height, all very positive improvements however it’s not ideal for project access and the restrictions we work under so when we were approached to buy the last 2 CE11M’s to be made we did not hesitate and awaited eagerly for their arrival.
As the world moved into uncertainty with COVID-19, and factories stalled production, the last 2 AUSA’s arrived in August of this year. The timing could not have been better as 2 key colleagues were retiring after 9 and 15 years of service and so following a number of modifications carried out by Approved Forklifts of Leicester, we were able to unveil the latest additions to our fleet, Steve ‘It wasn’t me’ Warner and John ‘how much’ Walker.
In a dedication at the beginning of October both forklifts were revealed to the retirees thanking them for their service and contributions, both were over whelmed by the gesture as their names live on within Makers and very fitting that with AUSA retiring the CE11M we have been able to mark this on a very special occasion.
We would like to thank and congratulate AUSA for the contribution and joy that these fantastic machines have brought to staff and family connected with Makers and specifically those who have been touched by dedications.
The forklifts have been a tremendous asset and we wish AUSA all the very best with their latest edition but we are definitely delighted with our fleet of 14 and hope to operate them for many years to come.