North America – the residential question

20 March 2008

“In 2003, 2004 And 2005 We Had +20% growth globally in our business, and a lot of that was fuelled by North America. In 2006 we were also running double-digit at the beginning of the year, but then we ran into a brick wall mid-year because of the dramatic and sudden decline in residential construction. We weren't alone in that – it was common for all our competitors. We have some competitors where compact equipment is 5% of their business. For Bobcat its 100% of our business, so that hit us pretty hard.

“We're looking at about a -12% decrease in residential construction spending for this year – that's what most of the forecasters would tell you – with it being pretty much flat in 2008. I think that's a little pessimistic. I believe it's going to turn a little quicker than that.”

“The last couple of months in North America have been surprisingly strong for us. We're looking at probably 0% to a -5% decline in North America against last year, because the first half of last year was still very strong. We think the market is going to be -12%, so that translates to some market share gains.”

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