European sales edge higher

By Chris Sleight |  3 August 2018

The Western European construction equipment market is forecast to grow 3 per cent this year, following the 13 per cent surge which was seen in 2017. This will take demand to over 165,000 units, the highest level seen in the decade since the global economic crisis. A moderate 1 per cent decline is forecast for 2019, but this should be seen as the market stabilising at a historically high level.

In 2017 the market enjoyed the rare phenomenon of all 15 of the individual countries considered in this report growing. This unusual occurrence of course indicates broad buoyancy in the European market, and at the current level of 160,000-165,000 unit sales, Off-Highway Research would argue that European demand is as strong as it can be without overheating.

Although demand rose across the board in 2017, it was the major markets of France, Germany, Italy and the UK which were the key overall influencers, as they currently account for 74 per cent of European equipment sales.

Demand for construction equipment has plateaued at a high level in most of the Northern and mid-European markets. The coming years are expected to see a gradual decline in annual sales, but at this stage no sharp downturn is forecast. The caveat to this is that Brexit could have a serious destabilising effect. However, with the future terms of the relationship between the EU and UK yet to be decided it is impossible to quantify the potential impact.

Meanwhile, continued growth in Southern Europe – most significantly Italy – should partially offset the declining sales further North. This should see overall European equipment demand maintained at strong volumes 1-2 years at least.

Off-Highway Research’s updated forecasts for the European construction equipment market are available in the August 2018 of the European Service Market Reports. Subscribers can click here to log in.

The report can also be bought as a stand-alone publication by non-subscribers. Contact for more details or to enquire about a subscription.

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