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Home Construction Strong sales growth for construction equipment in 2021

Strong sales growth for construction equipment in 2021

Construction equipment sales show signs of the industry rebuilding well after COVID-19’s most arduous restrictions and lockdown.

Sales showed a 48% increase in 2021 compared with 2020.

According to the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment maintained their strength in the final quarter of 2021 and showed an increase of just under 18% compared with Q4 2020.


Consequently, sales for the whole of 2021 finished the year at 48% above 2020 levels, reaching over 36,000 units for the equipment types covered by data collected and assessed by CEA and Systemics.

The data, known as the ‘construction equipment statistics exchange’, covers sales on a regional basis in the UK and N Ireland.

Equipment types; image provided by CEA

The findings suggest sales last year exceeded levels reached in 2018 and 2019, reported as being peak levels for the industry since before the “financial crash” in the decade before. This is consistent with comments from many CEA members who have been saying that 2021 was a “record year” in recent times for product sales. 

Telehandlers saw the strongest growth, with sales reaching more than double the 2020 levels. In contrast, the weakest sales were experienced by mini/midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes), with the rate of increase falling back to 33% in 2021, after being the strongest growing product in the previous year.

Sales were the strongest in the North West and North East of England, at over 75% above 2020 levels. By contrast, the weakest sales were in the West Midlands, only 15% above the previous year’s levels.

Equipment sales in the Republic of Ireland are also reported in the statistics exchange, separate from UK sales. Sales in the last two quarters of 2021 were at similar levels to the previous year, recording modest increases of approximately 2% for both quarters on sales in Q3 and Q4 of 2020. However, after experiencing strong sales in the first half of last year, sales for the whole of 2021 finished at 26% above 2020 levels.

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