UK construction equipment industry sees slow but steady growth


The UK construction equipment industry grew by 2% in 2018 in spite of experiencing a downturn toward the end of the year.

Crawler excavators were the most popular vehicles, overtaking 2017’s leader mini/midi excavators, while the weakest performing machines were telehandlers.

Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment fell in Q4 2018 by 8% – compared with like-for-like results 12 months prior – but this was not enough to stop growth overall for the year as a whole.

It continues a trend over the previous two years of steady but slowing growth for the UK industry.

After showing modest growth last year, retail sales in the UK market reached nearly 31,000 units, according to the construction equipment statistics exchange. Among the most popular machine types, crawler excavators (over 10 metric tons) showed the strongest growth, at over 16% ahead of 2017 levels. This pushed mini/midi excavators (under 10 metric tons) into second place at 4% growth year-on-year.

The equipment type showing the weakest performance in 2018 was the sale of telehandlers to the construction industry (only); after weak sales in the second half of the year, total sales in 2018 were 10% below 2017 levels.

In terms of regional performance, London (37.5%) and Yorkshire (23.3%) saw the strongest sales, while the Northeast (-12.6%) and Wales (12.4%) were worst.

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

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