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Global Cranes promotes Ed Gibson

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Global Cranes & Machinery appointed Ed Gibson to the newly created position of sales manager Americas.

Gibson has more than 25 years of experience in the crane industry. He joined the Global team in 2009 as the North American sales manager and most recently served as sales manager of North and Central America.

Among other things, Global is the exclusive international distributor of Zoomlion Rough Terrain cranes — a line of RT cranes loaded with all the features and meeting the tallest expectations in engineering and design. Five models are available, with lifting capacities ranging from 35 to 100 tons.

 

 

 

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Remodeling gains expected to continue into 2014

BY HBSDEALER Staff

This just in from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard: A strengthening housing market has been good for home improvement spending.

It’s not rocket science. And the Joint Centers’ Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) expects remodeling growth to continue for the foreseeable future.

“Homeowners are more comfortable investing in their homes right now,” said Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center. “Consumer confidence scores are back to pre-recession levels, and since recent home buyers are traditionally the most active in the home improvement market, the growth in sales of existing homes is providing more opportunities for these improvement projects.”

General strengthening in the housing market over the past 18 months is translating into increased spending on home improvements, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA). The four-quarter moving rate of change for remodeling activity measured 4.5% in the first quarter of 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. LIRA projections are for an 8.6% increase in the rate of change in the second quarter, and then growth rising into the high teens in the near future.

Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, offered caution along with the growth projections.

“With housing starts leveling off in the second quarter and financing costs beginning to edge up, we may be seeing the beginning of more measured growth in the residential markets,” he said. “Given normal timing patterns, this suggests that the pace of growth for home improvement spending should begin to moderate as we move into 2014.”

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Kwikset Kevo pushes lock frontier to the smartphone realm

BY HBSDealer Staff

Marking the latest entry in the booming smart home market, Kwikset (a brand of the Hardware & Home Improvement (HHI) division of Spectrum Brands Holdings) has announced that its Kevo smart lock technology is available for pre-order.

In partnership with UniKey Technologies, Inc., Kwikset makes it possible to unlock a deadbolt using a mobile app and the touch of a finger. According to the company, users will be able to use the technology without taking their phone out of their pockets or purses.

Kevo uses BlueTooth Low Energy 4.0 technology to create a Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt that can respond to a user’s smartphone and touch.

“UniKey’s innovative touch-to-open system creates a platform for how we will interact with locks in the future,” said Phil Dumas, president, UniKey. “By uniquely combining existing mobile and Bluetooth technologies, we’re bringing your front door into the digital age without compromising the look or security of the lock."

The app is currently available for BlueTooth SmartReady/BlueTooth 4.0 phones, as well as the iPhone 4S and 5. Apps for Android, Blackberry and other devices will likely be availabe in the future.

Kevo aims to provide the utmost in security with both digital encryption features and physical security standards.

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