While plant sales collapsed in the spring, recovery later in the year left 2020 unit sales down ‘only’ 24.5% on 2019. at just over 24,000 units for the year.
Sales in December 2020 were (by units, not value) 15% ahead of December 2019 levels, and this was enough to put four quarter sales 1% above Q4 2019.
Sales declined by 38% in the first half of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so a 24.5% fall for the full year represents some kind of relief, according to the Construction Equipment Association, which put out the data.
Sales of mini/midi excavators – the most populous machine category – were only 5.5% down, year-on-year, after sales in the last four months of the year overtook 2019 levels. Demand from the house-building market is reported to have been one of the key factors supporting demand for smaller machines. However, telehandlers – another house-building tool of choice – were down by more than 57%.
There were approximatelty 14,700 mini and midi excavators sold in the UK in 2020, compared to just 2,400 telehandlers (counting only construction industry sales and not farmers).