UK equipment sales set to exceed 2019 levels, says CEA

By Mike Hayes27 August 2021

22,000 units sold in first seven months of 2021 shows underlying strength of the UK market

The UK-based Construction Equipment Association (CEA) has released figures showing sales of construction and earthmoving equipment in the country are currently running above pre-Covid levels.

The association says more than 22,000 units have already been sold in 2021, which is ahead of the same period in 2019 and 66% higher than at the same period last year.

The published statistics represent sales in the UK and show that the strongest regions are currently Scotland and northwest England, with units being sold at more than twice last year’s rates.

Weaker sales are being seen in the West Midlands and in Wales, where improvement on last year stands at 28% and 35% respectively.

The CEA also breaks down equipment sales by type, reporting that telehandlers are currently seeing the strongest growth, with more than twice the number of units sold as at the same period in 2020.

Road rollers are also seeing strong growth, but the rate of increase for mini and midi excavators – the strongest-growing product type last year – is weaker at +49%.

The CEA’s market findings comes as Off-Highway Research reports similar figures.

According to its measure of the construction equipment market, sales for the first half of this year were 73% higher than the levels seen in the first half of 2020.

Chris Sleight, managing director at Off-Highway Research, said, “Comparisons with sales in earlier years indicate how buoyant the market has been in 2021, with sales are ahead of both 2018 (by 4%) and 2019 (by 7%) in the first half of the year.”

OHR Graph of UK construction equipment market - unit sales UK construction equipment market unit sales figures from Off-Highway Research

Off-Highway Research said that while the sector is still experiencing supply chain shortages and price rises for many products and materials, high levels of equipment sales in the face of this demonstrate the underlying strength of current demand.

Additionally, the Government committed to increased infrastructure spending, and this was the catalyst for the surge in equipment sales seen in 2021.

Sleight, said, “The HS2 rail project has been a major driver in the improvement in sales but it is not the only major project.

“Additionally, the housing market has rebounded, and confidence has returned to the market as a result. The level of demand is reaching unprecedented levels and the only constraint is the availability of equipment.”

NOTE: The construction equipment statistics exchange is run by Systematics International Ltd. The scheme is run in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).

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