Seventy-seven percent of goods transported in Western Europe travel by road, and most of that goes on a trailer pulled by a heavy truck.
CLEAR has launched its latest forecast of the European market for heavy-goods vehicle trailers. Helped by a buoyant German market in the first half of the year, a new sales record of 138,000 will be set for the seven largest economies, or 168,000 units for Western Europe as a whole.
Economic forecasts for GDP, and in particular, investment growth, have varied. Germany is looking stronger, but Italy's economy has weakened and its trailer market has suffered. Since the trailer replacement cycle is on a downturn, it is slightly surprising the market is performing so robustly. One important support factor is the inclusion of the new East European markets in the European Union, which is giving a boost to international transport and vehicle demand.
Looking forward, 2007 through 2009 are forecast to be record years, but with lower growth levels than in either the late 1980s or 1990s.