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Thu February 29 2024

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Plant sales down 9% last year

31 Jan Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment across the UK were down 8.8% in 2023, according to data shared by manufacturers.

After a slow fourth quarter, sales in 2023 reached 34,300 units, which is 8.8% below 2022 levels.

Sales in December were particularly slow, dragging the fourth quarter sales 29% below 2022 levels. This was the lowest quarterly level of sales since Covid at approximately 6,500 units.

In the first half of the year, sales were 8% above 2022 levels but in the second half they ended up 25% below 2022 levels.

According to Systematics International, which prepares the data for the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), sales in the early months of 2023 were still catching up after the delivery delays and long lead times seen in 2022. But in the second half of 2023 machinery buyers responded to the declining levels of construction activity, particularly in house-building.

Over the course of the year, there was a 10% upswing in demand for new wheeled loaders and a 4% rise in construction telehandler sales (despite the house-building slowdown). By contrast, demand for new excavators slowed. Unit sales of mini and midi excavators were down 10% in 2023, compared to 2022, and crawler excavator sales were down 18%.

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