Q1 2019 sets new historical quarterly records
The French market continues to increase. In the first quarter of 2019, 6 new records were reached. The current sales levels are the highest ever observed in France.
The mobile elevating work platform sales reached a peak of 3,545 units in the quarter. Never seen! The records of the years 2000-2001 and 2007-2008 are now pulverized. Compared with Q1 2018, the market is up 10%. This performance can be explained by the rise in sales to rental companies of nearly 13%.
Sales of compact earthmoving equipment increased by 14% overall compared to the same period a year ago. This performance can be explained by the strength of sales to rental companies (+ 32%) but also by the good performance of sales to other businesses (sales excluding rental): + 4%. The mini crawler excavators rose by just over 10% with 3,910 units sold. Sales of crawler excavators from 6 to 12 tons have shown a significant growth of 18%. Wheel loaders <5500kg rose by 23%. Furthermore, sales of compact loaders jumped by 59% in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018.
Finally, in the first quarter of 2019, telehandlers sales for construction and industry grew overall by 42% compared to the first quarter of 2018. Sales to rental companies rose sharply.
Among the explanations, the good health of the construction sector: The French civil engineering sector is still improving. The Greater Paris project is boosting the market. Activity is driven by local government investment spending, private investment and ongoing infrastructure projects (the French high-speed broadband plan, the French motorway plan, etc.). The current activity in the building sector remains also strong. The level of order bookings is high, and is currently estimated to be at around six and a half months.
Above all, renters remain very active and explain a significant part of the performance observed in the first quarter. It should be also remembered that the fiscal measure of exceptional deduction to support investment made by businesses to speed up the modernization of their productive assets ended on April 2019.