CLEAR International has issued a new report forecasting the demand for heavy goods trailers in Western Europe to 2018 and presenting the final results for 2013.
2013 finished the year slightly below expectations, particularly in France and Germany, but Spain and Italy did a little better than was foreseen in terms of trailer demand. The market ended up down 0.6% on 2012. However, in 2014 the forecast is for a solid recovery both in terms of the economic data and new trailer demand: the latter will increase by more than 10%. Several of the countries covered by the West European Report will have trailer market growth of over 15%.
Belgium, France and Germany have already regained their pre-recession level of GDP, and the UK will do so in 2014. However, the Netherlands won’t get there until 2017 and Italy and Spain will take even longer.
Even more importantly for trailer demand, the investment level in these seven largest economies will recover more slowly than the GDP figure. Belgium, the UK and Germany will be the first countries to match their pre-recession investment levels and that will not be until 2016. Nevertheless, investment levels will strengthen from 2014 giving trailer demand a boost.
Furthermore, demand for road transport in Western Europe, measured in tonne-km, which has been falling since 2008, may at last stabilise. The average fall for the Big 7 economies is 20% since 2006.
The trailer parc (fleet size) is forecast to stabilise at the 2013 level. It has been falling since 2009. It must be emphasised that this has never happened since the heavy duty trailer was invented. The size of the parc has always increased every year even through recessions and slowdowns.
The forecast for new trailer demand is that it will almost match the level of 2006 by 2016. Gary Beecroft, Managing Director of CLEAR added, “Trailer production, having fallen by 10.8% from the 2011 level, will also have a double digit increase in 2014.”
Despite the positive outlook for the period from 2014-2016 there will inevitably be another slowdown in the European economy in the future. In the latest forecast this is assumed to occur in 2018, although the report acknowledges that it might come one or even two years later.
77% of all goods in Europe are moved by road and most of that proportion is transported on a trailer.
The West European Trailer Market Report (February 2014), with forecasts to 2018, can be obtained from CLEAR using the contact details below. A new report for the East European market was issued in October 2013.
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CLEAR is a consulting group working with companies active in automotive and transport markets. Projects focus on the future demand for products as a result of changes in technology, markets, business processes and legislation. Clients include component manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, investment banks, management consultants, materials producers and government bodies.
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