Q1 Italian equipment sales halve

By Chris Sleight22 May 2009

Earthmoving equipment sales in Italy fell -47,8% in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2008. Figures from Comamoter, the Italian association of earthmoving machinery manufacturers, also show sales of road building equipment (-43,1%) and hydraulic breakers (-45,7%) were down.

The downturn in sales was widespread. Crawler excavator sales were down -53,4%, demand for backhoe loaders fell -61,0% and the mini excavator market halved in the first quarter of the years. There were also much heavier falls for low volume products such as dozers and site dumpers.

The ‘least worst' segment was tracked loaders, where sales were down -24,9%. The wheeled loader market was also fell less than the average, with a -37,5% drop.

Outside the earthmoving sector, there was one positive with sales of asphalt pavers rising +66,7%. However, these are low volume machines, with only 30 being sold against a total market of 3106 earthmoving machines, 95 road building machines and 274 hydraulic breakers.

Stimulus

Comamoter president Giuseppe Fano said, "This result reflects the wider economic situation that has hat worldwide markets. Consequently there is an urgent need for government assistance to support manufacturers and to kick-start internal demand."

Comamoter is calling for a series of government measures. These include the immediate implementation of the Piano Casa housing plan to demolish and replace old housing units. The association is also calling for a reduction in insurance premiums for demolition contractors that adopt safer equipment and working practices.

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