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May 17, 2012 1:50 PM CDT

Construction equipment sales grew 25% in 2011

Record construction equipment sales


2011 sales surpassed the previous high of $168 billion, set in 2008.

2011 sales surpassed the previous high of $168 billion, set in 2008.
Sales of construction equipment by the world's 50 largest manufacturers grew 25% last year to $182 billion, according to International Construction's annual Yellow Table survey. 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 no. 1 and no. 2, US-based Caterpillar and Japan's Komatsu, continuing to hold the positions they have had for well over a decade.

Climbers inside the top ten include Sweden's Volvo Construction Equipment, US-based Terex and 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% of Volvo, the company directly above it) and South Korean Doosan Infracore. China-based XCMG fell out of the top ten, having sat in tenth place for two years.

Across the top 50, US-headquartered companies accounted for 31.2% of total revenues, up from 29.5% the previous year. It was followed by Japan with a 23.2% share, down from 23.5% the previous year, and China, which had a 16.9% share, up from 15.0% 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%, worth just $841 million. Today their 16% share is worth $30.6 billion.

iC editor 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 programmes 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."

2012 Yellow Table Top 10

  1. Caterpillar
  2. Komatsu
  3. Volvo Construction Equipment
  4. Hitachi Construction Machinery
  5. Liebherr
  6. Sany
  7. Zoomlion
  8. Terex
  9. Doosan Infracore
  10. John Deere
Rankings are based on revenues from construction equipment sales in U.S. dollars in 2011.

About the Author

Chris Sleight is the long-standing editor of International Construction magazine, published by KHL Group and department head of the company’s editorial department.


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