The German construction equipment industry’s turnover for 2017 reached €10.8 billion – an increase of 15% year on year.
The figures, compiled by the construction equipment section of German trade association the VDMA, reflect a fourth consecutive year of growth for the sector. With incoming orders up 19%, a further rise of 8% is expected for 2018.
“We have not felt this kind of unanimous, great optimism for many years,” said Joachim Strobel, managing director of Liebherr-Emtec and industry spokesman of the association’s construction equipment manufacturers.
Franz-Josef Paus, chairman of the construction equipment and plant engineering association of the VDMA, and managing partner of Hermann Paus Maschinenfabrik, added: “We are benefitting from simultaneous high demand around the globe. There are no signs that this will change this year. The boom will carry us into 2019.”
The largest increase was in earthmoving equipment – up 21% – with building equipment and road construction machinery growing by 11% and 9% respectively.
The German market was behind the positive developments, with manufacturers adding 3% to an already high level of sales.
The compact machines segment was the main reason this growth was not larger. After soaring over the past two years, it is now viewed as starting to become saturated, with single-digit negative growth.
In total, Europe bought 20% more construction machines last year than in 2016. Construction equipment sales reached record levels in northern and western Europe, while demand in southern and central Europe rose considerably, albeit from a low starting point. Russia continues to cause the manufacturers some concern, despite its recent recovery. In the once booming market, German manufacturers are not yet back to where they once were.