New trailer demand in Eastern Europe is expected to pass 50,000 units in 2006 for the first time ever - a 5% gain over 2005 -- according to CLEAR, a consulting group working with companies active in automotive markets.
In 2000, the East European market for heavy truck trailers was only a little bigger than that of the UK. However, by 2004 it was more than twice as big. By 2010, total trailer registrations are expected to reach 58,000-twice that of 2000.
Many transport business are setting up shop in Eastern Europe to take advantage of the lower cost base. However, for international transport, they need modern haulage equipment, including the latest trailers.
The largest markets in order of size are Russia, Poland and Turkey, with these three accounting for half the region's demand. Poland in particular has witnessed the highest rate of growth.
Says CLEAR director Gary Beecroft, "These markets will grow for a very long time. It took Spain 15 to 20 years to reach the level of trailer utilization seen in the rest of the EU when it joined. However, the growth in the future will be relatively modest compared to that seen from 2000 to 2005."