European Country Analysis: The Netherlands

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The Market for Construction Equipment and Agricultural Tractors in The Netherlands (November 2013)

Off-Highway Research's Country Analyses are in-depth reviews of market activity for 12 equipment types in other smaller European countries, together with profiles of leading manufacturers and distributors.

Typical coverage includes:

Equipment Analyses Market Shares Market Size and Trends
  Domestic Production Forecasts
Distributor Profiles Ownership Financial Analysis
  Sales by Product Franchises
  Distribution Future Developments 

From 1998 to 2007 the construction equipment market in Spain enjoyed a golden age for sales of new machines, as well as the rejuvenation and expansion of the active population of machines and the introduction of types that had been previously slow to find acceptance in the country. Sales were more than twice as great as the average of the preceding 10 years. The economy flourished, and for historical reasons there was far from enough plant available to do the work. The housing market inflated hugely, as buyers moved to acquire houses on new suburban developments rather than staying in apartment blocks. Public works, focusing on railways and roads in particular, were a national priority and those who needed construction equipment could finance it with interest rates lower than seen for many years.

The first bankruptcies among overstretched property developers appeared in the spring of 2007. That year proved to be the last good period for construction equipment sales. The market fell rapidly in 2008 and even more in 2009. In the latter year sales were between 55 and 90 per cent down on 2007, varying by product. The contagion affected those involved in public works and the finance industry grew to detest anything associated with construction. Credit became very hard to obtain and as a result those involved in construction equipment had very little visibility on how the market would develop.

This was not the first economic crisis to hit Spain. Following the boom created by the Olympic Games and the Seville Expo in 1992, Spain plunged into crisis. The country not only survived, but came back stronger, becoming the second largest construction equipment market in Europe in 2006. The current crisis is, however, deeper and longer than any that have preceded it and the consensus is that the Golden Days of the early 21st century will never return again, at least not to the same extent. The market will however return to more modest, sustainable levels. The question on everyone’s mind is, when?

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