Rock to Road

Construction gear sales jump 25%

April 12, 2012  By  Scott Jamieson

April 12, 2012 – Sales of construction equipment by the world’s 50
largest manufacturers grew 25% last year to US$ 182 billion, according
to the annual Yellow Table survey by KHL Group. This was a record for
the industry, surpassing the previous high of US$ 168 billion, set in
2008, prior to the global financial crisis.

The Yellow Table, which is a ranking of the world’s 50 largest construction equipment manufacturers, saw relatively few changes at the top of the table, with the industry’s long-standing no. 1 and no. 2, US-based Caterpillar and Japan’s Komatsu, continuing to hold the positions they have had for well over a decade.

Climbers inside the top ten include Sweden’s Volvo Construction Equipment, US-based Terex and John Deere, and China’s Sany and Zoomlion. These gains came at the expense of Hitachi Construction Machinery (although its revenues were within 0.5% of Volvo, the company directly above it) and South Korean Doosan Infracore. China-based XCMG fell out of the top ten, having sat in tenth place for two years.

Across the top 50, US-headquartered companies accounted for 31.2% of total revenues, up from 29.5% the previous year. It was followed by Japan with a 23.2% share, down from 23.5% the previous year, and China, which had a 16.9% share, up from 15.0% in the 2011 edition of the Yellow Table (based on 2010 revenues).


China’s construction equipment manufacturers have seen their share of the top 50’s revenues climb for six consecutive years. Over the last decade, their share has increased more than ten-fold in percentage terms. In 2003, the first year the yellow table was published, China’s manufacturers had a share of just 1.6%, worth just US$ 841 million. Today their 16% share is worth US$ 30.6 billion.

The report’s author, Chris Sleight, said, “A rebound in the European, North American and Japanese construction markets was the key driver last year. There was also growth for some of China’s larger players, but they faced the first significant headwinds for more than a decade as the country’s stimulus spending programmes came to an end. Over the next 12 months the continued recovery in North America is likely to be decisive for the 2013 Yellow Table.”

2012 Yellow Table top ten – the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturers

1    Caterpillar   
2    Komatsu  
3    Volvo Construction Equipment  
4    Hitachi Construction Machinery   
5    Liebherr   
6    Sany  
7    Zoomlion   
8    Terex   
9    Doosan infracore   
10    John Deere   

Rankings based on revenues from construction equipment sales in US Dollars in 2011.

The Yellow Table is available to buy from KHL’s information store,, either as a report on single years, or as a multi-annual study.

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