The German construction equipment manufacturing industry predicts an increase in its global sales of 3% for 2017 to match that of 2016 when a turnover of €9.3 billion was achieved.
German companies have benefitted year on year from their strong position in the European and especially in the German markets. Last year the domestic market grew by 20% with sales of German construction equipment totalling €3 billion. “In view of this high level, a further growth hardly seems possible, even if our customers continue to make good business in Germany,” said Johann Sailer, Chairman of the Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery Industry Association of the German Engineering Federation, VDMA.
Compared to the previous year, the European market rose by 8% in 2016. Next to Germany, France was the second growth driver and sales to northern and western Europe are are expected to remain stable in 2017. Declines were recorded in the United Kingdom and in Central Eastern Europe in 2016 and the industry expects only modest recovery in 2017 in Southern Europe.
As forecasted, sales declined slightly in North America in 2016 compared to the previous year but companies expect the market to become more stable this year as infrastructure programs and investments announced by the US Administration are expected to stimulate the demand in the construction industry as a whole. No market improvements were seen in Latin America as markets in the region were dragged down by the weakness of the Brazilian construction industry.
Asia is showing good signs for sales. After four years of decline, China saw a return to growth in 2016.The Indian construction equipment market increased by 30%, powered by strong investments in road construction, and is expected to continue growth in 2017. Experts of the industry expect South East Asia to show positive signs, especially in Indonesia and Myanmar, but in the Middle East a substantial turnaround is not expected.
Free trade and an integrated Europe are key to future growth. Important political decisions are due with upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France and in Germany and the export-oriented construction equipment industry relies on a politically and economically integrated Europe as their backbone of economic success.
“We will only keep growing in the future if we further strive for international solutions and co-operations. In a highly specialised sector like ours, where special machines are not available in every region of the world, open markets are highly essential. We all depend on free trade and good economic sense. This applies to Europe and the United States alike” said Sailer.