Tough 2009 says AEM survey
By Andy Bateman
November 20, 2008 – The construction equipment manufacturing industry expects continued business declines in the United States through year-end 2008 of 8.6 percent, followed by flat growth in 2009 of 0.04 percent, according to the annual “outlook” survey of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
The construction equipment manufacturing industry
expects continued business declines in the United States
through year-end 2008 of 8.6 percent, followed by flat growth in 2009 of 0.04
percent, according to the annual “outlook” survey of the Association of
Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Canada
is predicted to fare better, with business stabilizing at minus 1.7 percent for
2008, followed by 2.2 percent growth in 2009. Sales to worldwide markets are anticipated to increase 8.5 percent by
year-end 2008 and gain 5.4 percent in 2009.
The survey provides a snapshot of construction
machinery manufacturers’ predictions for overall year-end 2008 and 2009
business in the U.S., Canada and worldwide.
AEM is the
North-American based international trade group representing the off-road
equipment manufacturing industry. Each year it surveys its construction
equipment manufacturer members about expected sales of the machines that build
and repair roads, bridges, houses, offices, schools and other
infrastructure in America and worldwide.
The AEM annual outlook forecast covers 72 different
whole machine product types and 19 types of attachments and components, grouped
into seven broad categories: earthmoving, lifting, bituminous, concrete and
aggregate, light equipment, attachments and components, and miscellaneous
AEM consolidates manufacturers’ estimates of
overall business activity. Each forecast in the survey is the average of
responses from companies in each product line, predicting industry wide
expectations rather than individual company performance, and unit sales rather
than company profitability. The survey was conducted in third quarter 2008 with
many of the responses prior to the U.S. financial market collapse.
Economic and Industry Trends Affecting Growth
The AEM outlook survey asked respondents to
rank the influence of several factors on future construction equipment sales.
Not surprisingly, the state of the general economy was cited as a key factor
affecting future industry growth. Specifically, the level of housing starts and
highway funding will be a major influence on construction equipment business
volume. Continued export demand, and the relative strength of the U.S. dollar,
will also affect sales, and the price of steel and other commodities continue
to be a concern.
Forecasts by Major Product Lines
Earthmoving Equipment: Year-end 2008 business for earthmoving equipment is expected to decrease
15.8 percent for the U.S.
and 6.8 percent for Canada,
while increasing 6.0 percent in worldwide markets. Business volume in 2009 is
anticipated to decline 3.3 percent in the U.S.,
remain flat (down 0.6 percent) for Canada and gain 4.8 percent
The earthmoving segment includes crawler and
wheeled excavators; rear dump and articulated haulers; motor graders; backhoe,
crawler, wheeled, compact and skid-steer loaders; crawler tractors; trenchers
and ditchers; wheeled log skidders; and scrapers.
Lifting Equipment: Sales of lifting equipment are anticipated to decrease 7.4 percent in
the U.S. by year-end 2008,
remain flat (up 0.9 percent) for Canada, and show gains of 4.2
percent for worldwide markets. Market predictions for 2009 are growth of 2.4
percent in the U.S., gains
of 5.6 percent for Canada
and increases of 8.2 percent in worldwide markets.
Lifting equipment includes knuckle and telescopic boom truck cranes; all
terrain, hydraulic truck, rough terrain and tower cranes; lattice boom cranes;
rough terrain and truck-mounted forklifts; and telescopic handlers.
Bituminous Equipment: For year-end 2008, bituminous equipment sales are anticipated to
decrease 8.8 percent in the U.S.
and 2.8 percent for Canada.
The worldwide market for bituminous equipment is predicted to gain 16.4 percent
in 2008. For 2009, bituminous equipment sales are expected to decline 3.3
percent for the U.S., remain
flat (down 0.6 percent) for Canada
and gain 7.8 percent for worldwide markets.
Bituminous equipment includes asphalt plants, screeds and pavers; cold
planers; pneumatic, static and vibratory rollers; soil stabilizers;
melter/applicators; slurry pavers; and road wideners.
Concrete and Aggregate
Equipment: Sales of concrete and aggregate equipment by
year-end 2008 are predicted to decline 8.6 percent for the U.S. and 5.3 percent
for Canada, while increasing 20.4 percent for worldwide markets. For 2009,
sales are expected to increase 4.6 percent in the U.S.,
anticipated to grow 2.0 percent for Canada and predicted to gain 3.9
percent for worldwide markets.
Machines in this category include concrete pavers; concrete batch
plants; mobile concrete breakers; crushers; screens; feeders; conveyors;
washing equipment; classifying tanks; and rock drills.
Light Equipment: Year-end 2008 business for light equipment is expected to decrease 10.7
percent for the U.S., while
increasing 1.1 percent for Canada
and 5.0 percent for worldwide markets. Light equipment business for 2009 is
predicted to decline 1.9 percent for the U.S.,
increase 3.0 percent for Canada
and gain 3.1 percent for worldwide markets.
The light equipment market includes machines such as hydraulic and
pneumatic breakers; vibratory plate compactors; concrete screeds, saws,
vibrators and trowels; generators; light towers; towable mixers; contractor
pumps; power buggies; vibratory walk-behind rollers; air compressors; lasers;
and truck-mounted air compressors.
Miscellaneous Equipment: Sales of miscellaneous equipment for year-end 2008 are anticipated to
decrease 11.2 percent for the U.S.
and 1.6 percent in Canada,
while increasing 16.5 percent in worldwide markets. For 2009, U.S. sales are expected to rise 9.5 percent,
sales in Canada
are predicted to increase 11.1 percent, and worldwide sales are forecast to
grow by 9.3 percent.
Equipment in this category includes heavy-duty and light to medium
trucks; earth drills (augers); landfill/refuse compactors; side dump, live
bottom and flatbed trailers; sewer vacs; environmental grinders; equipment
washers; sweepers; and trenchless equipment.
Attachments and Components: The business volume for attachments and components is predicted to show
year-end 2008 gains of 3.3 percent in the U.S.,
2.6 percent for Canada
and 6.9 percent for worldwide markets. Sales in 2009 are expected to grow by 3.4
percent in the U.S., 2.6
percent for Canada
and 5.4 percent for worldwide markets.
The attachments and components category includes buckets; quick
couplers; augers; demolition shears; pulverizers/crushers; hydraulic
components; rippers/scarifiers; compactors; grapples; blades; rakes; forks;
snow blowers; powertrains; engines; asphalt cutters; hooks; bearings; and brake
AEM Outlook Survey
Overall Average Percent
Changes Predicted for Unit Sales