Construction equipment sales in Western Europe grew 22 per cent in 2021. This stronger than expected rebound took the market to the highest levels seen since the boom of the mid-2000s. It was the second highest sales volume on record for the region.
The highest rates of growth were seen in countries which saw the sharpest downturn due to the Covid pandemic in 2020. Equipment sales in the UK led the way with a 50 per cent recovery from last year’s low, while Ireland was up 40 per cent. Other countries seeing significantly higher than average growth included the Southern markets of Italy, Portugal and Spain.
However, it should be stressed that all 15 major countries in Western Europe saw growth last year. The most modest improvements were seen in Finland, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, but these still ranged from5-9 per cent.
The widely reported high demand for equipment around the world, combined with long lead times for orders, means that Off-Highway Research expects further growth in European sales in 2022. The forecast is for a further 4 per cent growth, which would take the sales to within a percentage point of the previous record high, seen in 2007.
Demand is expected to cool form 2023 onwards, but the present forecast is for a soft landing, with volumes remaining around 1900,000-200,000 units per year. However, it should be added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the economic impact of the resultant sanctions adds uncertainty to the forecast.
Full details of last year’s changes, split across 15 construction equipment types, 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 29th March. Click here for more details and to book your place.