VDMA reports positive news for German construction

By Mike Hayes05 March 2021

Trade association reports 17% fall in equipment production in 2020 was less than was feared

VDMA logo

Sales of construction machinery from Germany fell by 17% in 2020, compared with the previous year, according to the country’s equipment and engineering association, VDMA.

The association said sales totalled €10.5 billion, comparable to the volume of sales made in 2017, and considerably better than had been feared.

Franz-Josef Paus, the organisation’s chairman, said, “We actually got off lightly. If someone had predicted at the beginning of the pandemic that the decline in turnover would only be moderate, we would not have believed it.”

The figures were produced for VDMA’s annual general meeting, where it was reported that sales of compact construction equipment in Germany were only minimally affected by the pandemic, seeing a decline of just 3%. This compares with an 18% fall in the sale of large machinery.

The association pointed out that increased demand was seen for equipment, both in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.

While VDMA reported that business confidence is at its highest level since the end of 2018, with Germany’s economic stimulus packages having a positive effect, it pointed out that challenges ahead include higher raw materials costs and fluctuations in work processes.

Joachim Strobel, deputy chairman of the VDMA, said, “In some cases, we had to go directly from short-time work to overtime and, in some cases, back to short-time work because deliveries suddenly stopped. In future, we will have to be even more flexible in this respect.”

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