Sales of construction equipment in Europe fell 16 per cent last year, according to Off-Highway Research's newly updated International Database Service. The slump in response to the Covid pandemic was more severe than seen in other major markets, including North America, India and Japan, while sales in China soared last year in response to stimulus spending.
All the individual European countries saw equipment sales fall last year, although in Italy, the drop was a mere -0.2 per cent, thanks to a robust recovery in the second half of the year. The impact in Switzerland was also mild, with just a -2.3 per cent decline.
However, all other countries saw double-digit declines in sales, the most severe being in Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.
Overall the European market is expected to grow in 2021. However, Not all countries will see rising sales and this will limit the headline growth to 3.5 per cent. The most robust recoveries are expected in the Southern European countries of Italy, Portugal and Spain, while modest further declines are expected in Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Germany.
However, with demand for construction equipment in Europe expected to reach almost 165,000 units in 2021, the market is in reasonable health. This is a similar volume to the number of machines sold in 2017 and is still comfortably above the 10-year average market size for the preceding decade, which was 148,579 machines.
Full details are available in the newly updated International Database Service. This includes details of sales and production of each equipment type by OEM and by year. Commentary on the data will be available through the European Annual Review, which will be published in April, and which will be available to subscribers to both the European Service and International Database Service.
The European market will also be discussed in the forthcoming Off-Highway Global Briefing webinar on 30th March. Click here for more details and to book your place.