Domestic sales worries for Italy

By Sandy Guthrie31 July 2012

Italy's Unione Nazionale Aziende Construction Equipment & Attachments (UNACEA).

Italy's Unione Nazionale Aziende Construction Equipment & Attachments (UNACEA).

Efficiency and site safety could be at risk as construction equipment sales in Italy continue to suffer from the country's economic situation, with many contractors apparently not renewing their fleets even though they are largely obsolete.

Figures from Unacea, the trade organisation which claims to represent 70% of the value of all earthmoving and concrete industry equipment in Italy, highlight the situation.

Over the first half of 2012, construction equipment sales in the Italian market decreased by 32% compared to the same period of 2011, with 3,712 machines sold, according to Unicea. Sales figures reveal a total of 3,539 earthmoving machines (a fall of 31.1%), 73 road machines (down 49%) and 100 concrete machines (34.6% less than last year).

Giampiero Biglia, vice president of Unacea, said, "The drop in earthmoving machine sales in the Italian market is still heightening, due to a macroeconomic situation that does not seem to be improving.

"In such conditions, many contractors are not renewing their fleet, which is now largely obsolete. This situation is damaging the whole system's competitiveness in terms of construction sites' efficiency, work safety and environmental safeguard."

Davide Cipolla, one of Unacea's councillors, added, "The negative trend in concrete equipment sales in Italy is the result of the deep crisis we are experiencing, and the lack of industrial policies focused on growth."

He said that unlike some other areas within the Eurozone, in Italian comparisons to the same period last year, there had been a drop in all product lines sales except batching plants.

"The austerity policy that Italy is now implementing is needed to face some of the existing problems," he said, "but at the same time we note that, in the absence of investment on infrastructure and real economy protection measures, all this risks destroying the national industry beyond repair."

On a more positive note, Unacea pointed out that construction equipment exports were growing. Using Italian Institute of Statistics data, Unacea said that over the first four months of 2012, the exports of the sector were more than €786 million - an increase of 18% compared to the same period of 2011.

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