Covid-19 by no means spared the construction machinery sector. In the wake of lockdown measures, between January and June, the Italian construction and site vehicle market shrank overall by 20%. Results were no better elsewhere in the world, with sales falling back to 2017 levels.
Data analyzed by Unacea (Italian Construction Machinery Union) and Cer (European Research Centre) were presented today at Veronafiere during the 7th edition of SaMoTer Day, the event organized for the run-up to the 31st SaMoTer, the international construction machinery exhibition scheduled 3-7 March 2021.
These figures are in line with the setback for world output caused by the pandemic, although there may already be some light at the end of the tunnel. The Unacea-Cer study seems to confirm this: the sector in Italy will probably improve in the second half-year to contain losses and close 2020, in the most optimistic scenario, at -8.7%, equal to 1,414 items of construction equipment in lost sales. Prospects for telehandlers (-9.7) and concrete machines (-10%) are similar, while road vehicles may see a downturn of just 2.7%.
The data summarised by Unacea-Cer also envisages a worsening scenario where new shocks would cause respective setbacks of -27.8% for earth-moving machinery, -23.4% for telehandlers, -22.8% for concrete machinery, and -18.3% for road-building machinery.
Meanwhile, from July onwards, Italy seems already to have resumed expansion thanks to the end of the lockdown period and the stabilizing effects of the economic policies implemented. The situation is expected to settle in 2021. This is good news for a supply chain worth more than 3.5 billion euros in Italy that in 2019 achieved two-figure growth over the previous year (+16.9%), for total sales of over 19,500 units.
SaMoTer Day also saw the presentation of the “Construction machinery: a strategic component of the circular economy” position paper; here, 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 capitalize on the recovery: the exhibition hosted at Veronafiere will be held together with 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, the show focusing on transport, logistics and sustainable intermodal services organized by Alis (Sustainable Intermodal Logistics Association).
Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, said:
“Veronafiere and SaMoTer are playing their part in supporting and promoting the construction and earthmoving world. 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.”
Mirco Risi, President of Unacea, said:
“The construction machinery sector is experiencing unprecedented events. 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.”