Fernando Forjaz.

Fernando Forjaz.

ALEC, the Brazilian association of equipment rental companies, opened its annual exhibition this week in the state of São Paulo.

Alongside Feloc Expo Rental 2015, the association has put out the new educational programme Alugar Brasil, an experience that is to be repeated regionally throughout the country.

Feloc Expo Rental took place among the worst market conditions in many years. Manufacturers exhibiting at the show reported a sales downturn of up to 70% in comparison to 2014, which was itself a poor year.

Contrary to what might have been expected, though, Brazilian rental companies are treating the current challenges as temporary.

Fernando Forjaz, president of ALEC, said: “Our job is not to prepare rental companies for a market downturn. We want to help them to perform positively whatever the size of the market”.

To do so, Mr Forjaz and ALEC are aiming to make the country’s rental sector more professional.

“If rental companies are able to perform excellent maintenance, machines will work better and for longer. Only then can we convince contractors that a rented machine enhances their productivity,” he said.

Weaker demand is imposing some price restrictions on Brazilian rental market, but not to the point of dumping. Many rental companies are choosing to leave equipment idle rather than enter a destructive price war.

“When the market gets smaller, it’s useless to drop prices, because we are dealing with imported machines and parts. It´s better to rent fewer units profitably because when it comes to maintenance the costs of parts will still be high,” said Mr Forjaz.

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