Cat reports decline in US dealer investment

By Murray Pollok17 March 2008

Capital investment by US rental companies is showing signs of flattening or declining in 2008, according to two of the biggest suppliers to the rental market, Caterpillar and JLG Industries.

Caterpillar reported that sales of machines in North America had fallen by 12% in the three months to 30 September and said that as a result of the “weak economic environment, dealers added fewer units to their rental fleets and let existing fleets age.” Cat dealers are among the largest rental operators in the US.

Cat said that while non-residential construction remained “strong”, contracting activity for new projects fell almost 8% compared to the same quarter in 2006.

Oshkosh Truck Corporation, which owns aerial platform and telehandler manufacturer JLG Industries, said it expected North American rental fleet investment in 2008 to be “flat to slightly down, but the overall tone is strong.” Oshkosh is forecasting JLG's sales in North America in fiscal 2008 to decline by a double digit rate.

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