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Thu February 29 2024

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Mini-digger sales hold up but telehandlers collapse

1 Feb 21 Construction equipment manufacturers and their dealers report that UK sales in 2020 ended up not as bad as had been earlier feared.

The number of telehandlers sold in the UK fell by 57.2% in 2020
The number of telehandlers sold in the UK fell by 57.2% in 2020

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).

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