EQUIPMENT ANALYSIS: MOTOR GRADERS - GERMANY (April 2015)
Off-Highway Research's Equipment Analyses are a rigorous evaluation of the structure and development of demand for one product in the UK, France, Germany and Italy in the European Service, and in China and India.
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This report examines the market in Germany for motor graders, a subject last covered by Off-Highway Research in 2011. Germany is currently the largest single market in Europe for graders, accounting for 30-35 per cent of the region’s sales during the period under review.
The motor graders operating in Germany range from the smallest 7.0 tonne models with engines of 75 horsepower, to those weighing nearly 23.0 tonnes with engines of 230 horsepower. In practice the majority of graders sold in Germany are in the 130-190 horsepower range with service weights of between 11.0 and 19.0 tonnes.
In contrast to most other product sectors the market for new graders in Germany has traditionally been the subject of very little fluctuation, and in recent years demand has stabilised at an average level of 60-80 units per year regardless of economic influences. The long working life of the machines and many owners’ preference for rebuilding them means that this situation is unlikely to alter significantly in the future. Furthermore, the specialised nature of the motor grader, which necessitates the use of highly skilled drivers to operate them, means that there has been less influence on the market from the rental sector, and demand is therefore determined more by the replacement programmes of the road building fraternity.
The European grader market is characterised by a limited number of suppliers and is effectively dominated by two manufacturers: CNH, whose New Holland branded machines are built in the former O&K factory in Berlin, and Caterpillar. In Germany, where contractors’ preference is almost exclusively for more technically sophisticated graders, the only supplier offering a credible challenge to New Holland is the domestic manufacturer, HBM-Nobas of Nordhausen. Volvo, whose range of Champion-sourced graders was officially launched in Europe at the 2001 Bauma exhibition, and Caterpillar sell only a small number of incremental units.
The compaction equipment specialist Bomag, which entered the market in 1998 with a range of HBM-sourced machines, left the sector in 2002 following a change in corporate ownership. The only other suppliers with official representation in Germany are Komatsu, which re-launched its grader range in Europe during 2010, and the Chinese manufacturer, Sany, which presented an export version of its grader product offering for the first time in Europe in 2007. Terex, which entered a sales co-operation with HBM-Nobas in January 2006, no longer markets a range of graders in Europe and its manufacturing agreement with HBM was terminated in June 2014.
The findings presented in this report are based on Off-Highway Research's International Database and on information collected during an interview programme in Germany conducted in January 2015 with all suppliers.