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Construction Equipment Sales Exploded in 2011


Sales of construction equipment by the world’s 50 largest manufacturers grew 25 percent last year to $182 billion, according to the annual Yellow Table survey by KHL Group. This was a record for the industry, surpassing the previous high of $168 billion set in 2008, prior to the global financial crisis.

The Yellow Table, which is a ranking of the world’s 50 largest construction equipment manufacturers, saw relatively few changes at the top of the table, with the industry’s long-standing number one and two, Caterpillar and Komatsu, continuing to hold the positions they have had for more than a decade.

Climbers inside the top 10 include Volvo Construction Equipment, Terex, John Deere, and China’s Sany and Zoomlion. These gains came at the expense of Hitachi Construction Machinery, although its revenues were within 0.5 percent of Volvo, the company directly above it, according to the company; and South Korean Doosan Infracore. China-based XCMG fell out of the top 10, having held tenth place for two years.

Across the top 50, U.S.-headquartered companies accounted for 31.2 percent of total revenues, up from 29.5 percent the previous year. It was followed by Japan with a 23.2 percent share, down from 23.5 percent the previous year, and China, which had a 16.9 percent share, up from 15.0 percent in the 2011 edition of the Yellow Table (based on 2010 revenues).

China’s construction equipment manufacturers have seen their share of the top 50’s revenues climb for six consecutive years. Over the last decade, their share has increased more than ten-fold in percentage terms. In 2003, the first year the yellow table was published, China’s manufacturers had a share of just 1.6 percent, worth just $841 million. Today their 16 percent share is worth $30.6 billion.

The report’s author, Chris Sleight, said, “A rebound in the European, North American and Japanese construction markets was the key driver last year. There was also growth for some of China’s larger players, but they faced the first significant headwinds for more than a decade as the country’s stimulus spending programs came to an end. Over the next 12 months the continued recovery in North America is likely to be decisive for the 2013 Yellow Table.”