Strong year for construction equipment sales
UK construction equipment sales increased by 48% in 2021 compared with previous year
RETAIL sales of construction and earthmoving equipment maintained their strength in the final quarter of 2021 and showed an increase of just under 18% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. As a result, sales for the whole of 2021 finished the year at 48% above 2020 levels, reaching more than 36,000 units for the equipment types covered in the construction equipment statistics exchange run by Systematics International in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).
This means that sales last year exceeded the levels reached in 2018 and 2019, which were reported as being peak levels for the industry since before the ‘financial crash’ a decade earlier. According to the CEA, this is consistent with comments from many of its members, who have been saying that 2021 was a ‘record year’ in recent times for product sales.
Telehandlers (for the construction industry) saw the strongest growth, with sales reaching more than double the 2020 levels. In contrast, the weakest sales were experienced by mini- and midi-excavators (up to 10 tonnes), with the rate of increase falling back to 33% in 2021, after being the strongest-growing product in the previous year.
The construction equipment statistics exchange also covers sales on a regional basis in the UK and Northern Ireland. Sales were the strongest in the north-west and north-east of England, at more than 75% above 2020 levels. In contrast, the weakest sales were experienced in the West Midlands, at only 15% above the previous year’s levels.
Equipment sales in the Republic of Ireland are also reported in the statistics exchange, separate to UK sales. Sales in the last two quarters of 2021 were at similar levels to the previous year, recording only modest increases of approximately 2% for both quarters. However, after experiencing strong sales in the first half of last year, sales for the whole of 2021 finished at 26% above 2020 levels.