Sales of construction machines in Europe are forecast to fall 6% this year, following 2012’s 4% decline, according to new data from specialist consultant Off-Highway Research. Some 111,832 units are expected to be sold this year, compared to 116,565 in 2012 and 123,862 in the post-recession high of 2011. The market’s lowest ebb in recent years was 86,440 units sold in 2009.
Although growth is forecast for Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden this year, many of Europe’s large individual markets are expected to fall.
Sales of construction machinery in Germany are expected to drop 7% to 30,135 units this year, while France is forecast to slide 3% to 24,710 machines and the UK will see a 7% decline to 22,407 pieces of equipment. In addition, the Italian market is forecast for another 8% fall to 7,337 machine sales in 2013, following on from the 30% drop it saw last year. At its height in 2007, some 30,679 construction machines were sold in Italy.
There is an even more striking comparison to be made in Spain, where just 1,157 pieces of construction equipment are expected to be sold this year – the same number as 2012. However, in 2007, the market hit a volume of 21,053 machines, which is to say it has shrunk to about 5% of the size it was six years ago.
Off-Highway Research expects a recovery to begin in 2015, with construction equipment sales in 2014 forecast to be about the same as this year. However, the company does not expect a rapid return to growth. Single-digit annual rises in sales are expected to see volumes come back to some 121,946 units by 2017.
The company blamed weak and uncertain economic conditions in Europe for the market’s on-going malaise. “The crisis of the Euro-Zone persists, and this is doing little to bolster confidence of potential equipment buyers. Business confidence is absolutely fundamental to the long term health of the industry, and political leaders will need to demonstrate that they can solve the economic challenges facing Europe before business confidence can be fully restored,” said the Off-Highway Research report.
For more information visit www.offhighway.co.uk