European trailer manufacturers are off to a fast start in 2015, according to Gary Beecroft, a market analyst based in the United Kingdom.
CLEAR, Beecroft’s company, expects the market to finish the first half of 2015 with a 12.8% increase. He believes the market will add 4.7% more growth in the second half of the year—a little more bullish than the outlook was six months ago.
“The reason is that several markets which have struggled since the global financial crisis have started 2015 very strongly,” Beecroft says. “Italy for example is up 68% in the first four months of the year and will finish the year up by a similar percentage. Spain, where registrations last year were half pre-crisis levels, has started the year up 60%.
Two countries which have recovered quite well from the crisis have also had strong starts, he adds. The Netherlands is up 31% for the first four months of the year suggesting that 2015 trailer demand will be very healthy. The UK, which set a new record for trailer demand in 2014 looks set for another very strong year.
These four countries plus Denmark will account for almost all the extra demand for trailers compared to last year’s forecast figure. Italy and the Netherlands will also be strong in 2016.
“We basically are seeing catch-up demand in these markets,” Beecroft says. “In many European markets the demand for new trailers has been so far below the long term trend level for so many years that, as soon as companies regain the confidence to invest in new assets, the floodgates are opened and two or three years of exceptional increases are possible. However, it must be remembered that in cases such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, we are starting out from a very low base.”
All seven of the largest economies of Western Europe are forecast to have accelerating GDP growth and higher business investment with the sole exception of Italy, which will follow the pack in 2016.
“The forecast for new trailer demand is that it will match the level of 2006 by 2016,” Beecroft says. “It remains unlikely that the demand level of 2007-2008 will be seen again. However, 2006 was the third highest trailer registrations level on record.”
Trailer production, having fallen by 9.2% from the 2011 level, had a 12.2% increase in 2014. Further increases are forecast for 2015/16.
The West European Trailer Market Report (June 2015), with forecasts to 2019, can be obtained from CLEAR by emailing [email protected]. A new report for the East European market was issued in April 2015. A Global Trailer Database will be available in July 2015.