Fourth edition of CEA report reveals growth and resilience amid period of significant challenges
THE Construction Equipment Association (CEA) has released the fourth edition of its UK Construction Equipment Sector Report for 2023. Authored by Knibb Gormezano and Partners (KPG) and containing additional information from Off Highway Research, it is the first edition since 2019 – a period marked by significant changes such as the UK’s departure from the EU and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite challenges including Brexit, Covid, and supply chain constraints, the sector has shown strong resilience, achieving record-breaking revenues, production volumes, and employment figures.
Applauding the industry’s response to these trials, Suneeta Johal, chief executive of the CEA, said: ‘Our industry has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability in navigating these challenges, while concurrently grappling with energy, labour, and supply chain-related issues. Amid these hurdles, the industry has managed to maintain robust growth throughout the last reporting period in 2021 and into 2022.’
According to the report, the UK’s construction equipment industry has established itself as a global leader. Based on the machines evaluated in the study, the UK industry ranks fifth globally and is the premier leader in Europe by unit sales. More than 1,500 companies, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, dealers, and other stakeholders, constitute the sector.
Testament to the industry’s robustness and adaptability, total revenue experienced a surge to more than £15 billion in 2021/2022, up from £13 billion in 2018. Employment figures also showed a positive trend, with a 10% rise from 40,000 to more than 44,000, whilst gross value added (GVA) rose from £2.3 billion to £2.5 billion.
Global sales data from Off-Highway Research indicates a global increase in the sale of core equipment from 1.17 million units in 2018 to 1.2 million units in 2022, awarding the UK with more than a 5% unit share of production and demonstrating the UK’s crucial role in the global construction equipment industry.
Despite Brexit and the impacts of COVID-19, the UK construction equipment sector has remained a significant net exporter. In 2022, the top five export destinations (the US, the Irish Republic, Germany, France, and Australia) accounted for approximately 51% of total exports, showing an increase from 48% in 2018.
The report goes on to say that the transition to a low-carbon future presents both challenges and opportunities. The UK construction equipment sector needs to invest significantly in developing new capabilities and refining processes. Notably, the areas of powertrain technology, hydraulics, telematics, and human-machine interface technologies are essential for achieving this green transition.
A copy of the full report can be downloaded below.