Italian machine sales slump

Italian construction and site vehicle machinery sales forecast to be down by at least 8.7% in the second half of 2020, after a 20% reduction in the first half of the year.
October 15, 2020
By Guy Woodford
The SaMoTer 2017 showground
The SaMoTer 2017 showground

These headline figures come from data analysed by Unacea (Italian Construction Machinery Union) and Cer (European Research Centre). They were presented yesterday (14 October) at Veronafiere during the 7th edition of SaMoTer Day, organised in the run-up to the 31st SaMoTer, the Verona, Italy-based international construction machinery exhibition taking place 3-7 March 2021.

The new Italian construction and site vehicle machinery statistics are in line with a worldwide decline in unit sales. The most optimistic -8.7% sales dip highlighted in the Unacea-Cer study equates to 1,414 items. Prospects for telehandlers (-9.7) and concrete machines (-10%) are similar, while road vehicles may see a downturn of just 2.7%, according to the latest data.

The data summarised by Unacea and Cer also envisages a worsening scenario where new shocks would cause respective H2 2020 setbacks of -27.8% for earthmoving machinery, -23.4% for telehandlers, -22.8% for concrete machinery and -18.3% for road-building machinery.

Unacea and Cer state that since July 2020, construction and site vehicle unit sales have benefited from an end to what had been a strict lockdown period in Italy and the stabilising effect of COVID-19-linked economic policies. The fact COVID-19 pandemic disruption to trading is likely to be less significant in 2021 is good news for a supply chain worth more than €3.5 billion in Italy. Construction and site vehicle machinery sales in 2019 saw double-digit growth over the previous year (+16.9%), with over 19,500 units purchased.

SaMoTer Day also saw the presentation of the ‘Construction machinery: a strategic component of the circular economy’ position paper. Inside, Unacea summarises a series of environmental proposals concerning the role of machinery in tenders and the input that demolition and recycling equipment can provide as regards reducing construction waste.

SaMoTer 2021 will be an opportunity for manufacturers and companies to capitalise on a partial market recovery. The exhibition will take place alongside the 9th edition of Asphaltica, Siteb  (Italian Road Asphalt Bitumen Association), the event for the bitumen and road infrastructure sector, and - for the first time - LETExpo, a show focusing on transport, logistics and sustainable intermodal services organised by Alis (Sustainable Intermodal Logistics Association).

"Veronafiere and SaMoTer are playing their part in supporting and promoting the construction and earthmoving world," said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere. "And it will continue to do the same today, together with companies, partners and stakeholders, in response to the new challenges posed by Covid-19. We are developing an exhibition in 2021 that will combine maximum safety with the business, innovation and internationality needs of companies through an integrated format where online events will back up the conventional attended trade fair to create even more new opportunities."

"The construction machinery sector is experiencing unprecedented events," said Mirco Risi, president of Unacea. "We have demonstrated immense resilience and dynamism. Today, if the Recovery Plan includes a focus promoting cutting-edge technologies capable of ensuring significant improvements in efficiency, safety and environmental compatibility, then this would be an investment in the future of the country as a whole."

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