Italian equipment decline ‘not justified by recession’

By Sandy Guthrie31 July 2013

Italy's Unione Nazionale Aziende Construction Equipment & Attachments (UNACEA).

Italy's Unione Nazionale Aziende Construction Equipment & Attachments (UNACEA).

Italy’s construction machine woes are continuing, with the decline in sales out of proportion with the drop in the construction market, according to construction equipment trade association Unacea.

The first six months of 2013 saw demand in the Italian market amount to 2,774 construction machines being sold – a fall of 25% compared to the same period of 2012, said Unacea.

This breaks down into 2,671 earthmoving machines, a fall of 24%, 42 road machines, down 42%, and 61 concrete machines, down 38%.

Giampiero Biglia, vice president of Unacea, said, “In the past five years of recession, the demand for construction equipment has been affected more than can be justified by the drop in the construction market.”

He said that the current uncertainty about a way out of the crisis seemed to mean buyers were reducing procurement of new machines to the minimum, delaying replacement as far as they could.

“From this point of view, it is fundamental that the new legislative decree concerning the stimulus for the purchasing of new machinery becomes effective right away.”

He added that it was just as important that all types of construction equipment should be included, so that SMEs (small and medium enterprises) would benefit from the measure to the benefit of the entire chain.

Davide Cipolla, Unacea councillor for the concrete equipment sector, said, “The performance of the Italian market for concrete equipment perfectly shows the crisis trends.

“However, we are focusing our attention on the production of industrial concrete that in Italy is still produced dry for about 85%.

“This concrete is made within plants without mixer, despite the scientific evidence of the superior features of the concrete produced by the wet system in terms of reliability, strength and durability, not to mention the environmental benefits resulting from the reduction of gaseous emissions and from the savings achieved.”

In fact, he added, the use of a mixer allowed huge savings thanks to a more efficient use of the concrete’s components and of the truck mixers, leading to less wear and a reduction in “useless waste of fuel”.

Following a number of case studies, at a meeting of the Italian national centre for concrete in early July, Unacea proposed calling for the introduction of a measure providing additional points in tender notices for companies that provided industrially-produced pre-mixed concrete

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