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Looking ahead optimistically

Positive outlook for Germany’s roadbuilding and construction machinery industry

The building industry in Germany could this year become an engine for the country’s economic development. It is a strong and important industry and with more than 2.2 million employees the biggest employer overall. The industry is looking ahead with optimism and is reckoning with a noticeable growth this year.

One part of this industry is the road construction sector. And as in the whole building industry, the outlook in the road construction sector is positive.

In the first quarter of this year sales in road construction grew more than four percent in comparison to the first three months 2015. The forecast for the rest of this year is also very positive. One indicator for a positive development in the following months is the current order situation. And it is promising: Comparing January until March 2016 to January until March 2015, the number of orders increased by one-fifth. You may ask for the reasons for this positive situation. One is the weather condition: The winter in Middle Europe was extremely mild – almost no snow and temperature levels were often far above freezing levels. That means that road construction would go on almost throughout the whole winter. Another reason is the investment in infrastructure that is actually rising in Germany. For years associations complained about the lack of investments in roads, motorways and bridges. Now, the government is investing more money in repairing and maintaining infrastructure – not yet in dimensions that associations would like to see, but nevertheless, it is a good start in the right direction.

And as the road construction professionals are getting optimistic, the construction machinery professionals are as well.

In Europe, 450 manufacturers employ around 150 000 people and generate sales of 40 billion Euros a year. More than half of these manufacturers are located in Germany, Italy and France, so Germany plays a big role in this sector. Two-thirds of all manufacturers are smaller companies with sales below 50 million a year. Nevertheless they have an international focus with 40 percent of all sales generated beyond Europe.

Two-thirds of all manufacturers anticipate a positive development. Altogether they reckon with a growth of 5 to 6 percent, especially in the fields of service and within their non-European business.
Despite the optimistic outlook, professionals also foresee challenges for the future: the rising competition, and in some markets higher regulations, but also rising demands paired with the requirement of intelligent systems and digitalization of processes.
This digitalization describes the interconnection of production and latest information- and communication technologies. That means that construction machines have to be ready to work with digital plans. They have to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Construction processes, for example for the construction of highways, are getting more and more digitalized, starting from planning all the way through documentation.

FrankSchnee 13.07.2016 0 2776
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