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Road construction sector most positive in European construction equipment market

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World Cement,

The CECE has released its economic report for 2014, which show an increase in the European construction equipment market of 9% compared to 2013. Despite its continuing challenges, Europe was the second most dynamic region for sales after North America.

“This is a positive development,” says Sebastian Popp, economic expert at CECE, “but we have to bear in mind that the good performance was just enough to recover what had been lost in 2013.” The construction equipment market remains 40% behind 2007 levels, though with huge disparities. South Europe remains at very low absolute levels, while the UK and Germany have almost caught up to pre-crisis levels. The CECE describes how the industry in Europe experienced an entire economic cycle within one year – starting extraordinarily strong after a very mild winter, it saw an extended summer slump followed by another pick-up of demand towards the end of the year. Heterogeneity was great across countries: while the UK saw sales growth of one third compared to the already strong 2013, Turkey and Russia had a devastating year with market declines of 25% and 37%, respectively.

Road construction equipment was the best-performing of all sub-sectors

Sales of road construction equipment grew 19% y/y, with growth rates across product groups at similar levels: 20% increase in light compaction equipment sales; 16% increase in sales of self-propelled rollers; 21% increase in asphalt pavers sales. However, the building construction equipment sales were less positive. Total sales of concrete equipment in 2014 were 13% down on 2013.

Outlook for 2015

“It is likely that recovery will continue; however the extent of it is more questionable,” said Popp. “The European construction industry should be on a recovery path, with all three sectors of construction having a positive growth forecast.” The mining and quarrying sector might have weathered its crisis and could stimulate demand. Much uncertainty emanates from political crises, the Russia-Ukraine conflict being probably the most severe one for the European equipment industry. The flaring up of the Euro crisis could further impede the readiness of customers to invest. Against this backdrop, a flat market or a slight growth appears to be the most realistic scenario for Europe in 2015.  According to the recent CECE Business Barometer, manufacturers of earthmoving and road equipment remain optimistic, whereas concrete equipment manufacturers are more hesitant.

The full “CECE Economic Report” with detailed figures and graphs is ready for download here.

Adapted from press release by

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