European equipment market to slow

By Chris Sleight01 August 2012

Construciton equipment forecasts for Europe. SOUREC: Off-Highway Research.

Construciton equipment forecasts for Europe. SOUREC: Off-Highway Research.

The European construction equipment market will fall -3% this year and -5% in 2013, according to new data from Off-Highway Research. The volume of machines sold this year is expected to hit 119,253 units, compared to 123,445 in 2011.

Commenting on the weak outlook, the company said, "The reasons for this pessimism are depressingly familiar: the continued uncertainty caused by the sovereign debt crises of various countries; fears for the fate of the Eurozone itself; the subsequent fragility of the continent's leading financial institutions and the continued absence of credit. To these must be added the unwillingness or inability of governments to embrace infrastructure investment as a catalyst for economic growth, depressed housing markets and the resultant free fall in consumer and business confidence. "

Single-digit declines are expected in the French, German and UK markets this year, which together account for almost 70% of equipment sales in Western Europe. The Italian market is expected to see +5% growth, but after previous years of large declines, at a forecast 8782 machines this year, it only represents 7% of the European total.

The Spanish market is expected to fall another -20% this year to 1855 machines, or 1.5% of the European total. At the height of the market in 2007 21,507 machines were sold in Spain, representing 10% of the then total European market of 211,584 units.

On the positive side, growth is expected this year in the Austrian, Danish, Finnish, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish equipment markets.

In terms of the high volume equipment types, growth is expected this year in the tracked and wheeled excavator segments, as well as in backhoe loaders and articulated dump trucks (ADTs). However, Off-Highway Research expects to see a fall in compact equipment sales, with mini excavator, skid steer loader and compact wheeled loader volumes all expected to decline.

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