Spanish access renters hold 'crisis' meeting

By Murray Pollok10 November 2008

Spanish access rental companies at the ANAPAT special meeting.

Spanish access rental companies at the ANAPAT special meeting.

The Spanish access rental association ANAPAT held a special ‘crisis' meeting in Zaragoza on 6 November to discuss how the sector can adapt to worsening market conditions.

Josep Marsal Minguella, president of ANAPAT and director of GAM's specialist access rental division, GAM Vilatel, told Access International that the slowdown in housing and construction in the country had led to a 20-35% reduction in access rental prices in the country and that the total rental fleet of around 45000 units represented a significant oversupply of the market.

Mr Minguella, one of over 60 rental delegates at the meeting - hosted by manufacturer Matilsa at its factory in Zaragoza - said current utilisation rates for aerial platforms in Spain were between 50 and 55% and that there were currently around 17000 too many rental units in the county.

In response to the slowdown, both GAM and HUNE - which jointly represent around a quarter of the total market - have sold off between 800 and 1000 units in the past 10 months. Mr Minguella forecast that fleets would fall by a further 10% over the next 12 months.

Mr Minguella said the meeting had been worthwhile; "There was a positive feeling, and a lot of clarity about the situation. We put the problems on the table...We have to respect each other. People have to find new opportunities, new markets, and be more efficient. We have to restructure our companies to the new situation."

Spain has been one of the fastest-growing access markets of the last ten years, so a slow down was not unexpected. However, the adjustment to a very different market will be difficult for rental companies and manufacturers. ANAPAT estimated that only 1000 new machines will be bought by its members next year (ANAPAT members account for 37000 of the total 45000 unit fleet), with as many as 4000 used machines being sold off.

Jorge Cuartero Dastis, director general of ANMOPYC, the Spanish equipment manufacturers association, told Access International that 2008 had seen a 60% fall in sales of construction equipment in Spain. He said, "There are manufacturers in a very bad situation...we don't know when it will recover - to reach the level of the past five years will be impossible."

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