Equipment sales hit new high

25 March 2008

European construction equipment sales enjoyed a third consecutive year of robust growth in 2006, with the number of machines sold rising 14% to a record breaking 187353 units, according to the latest report from Off-Highway Research.

Off-Highway also forecast a 1% decline in the European equipment market this year to 185830 units, with the slowdown forecast to bottom-out in 2010. However, the company says equipment sales should remain at historically high levels throughout this period (see graph).

All the major markets, with the exception of Portugal, saw sales rise last year. Germany saw the strongest growth of the ‘Big markets, with sales increasing 29% to 31812 machines. “Demand for heavy 200000 earthmoving equipment was particularly 180000 buoyant”, said the report. Spain also grew more than the European average 160000 with a 16% increase to 19227 units. 140000 Growth in France, Italy and the UK was 120000 more restrained, but still high at 7%, 6% 100000 and 10%, respectively.

The UK is now Europ gest market in volume terms, with 33303 machines sold last year, and France is almost the same size at 33278 units. Sales in Italy were close to 30537 units.

Some of the strongest growth in sales came in the smaller European markets. Both Denmark and The Netherlands saw increases of 34%, while Austria (22%), Belgium (16%), Ireland (16%) and Norway (19%) also did well. Machine sales in Portugal fell by 3%.

Off-Highway Research attributed the growth to the growth in equipment rental, low inflation and interest rates, a strong European market for infrastructure and generally good business confidence throughout the region.

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