Italian market still in recession in the first semester 2011
The minus sign still appears before construction equipment figures. In the first semester of the year, earthmoving machines, with 5,139 units sold, lost 33 percentage points compared to the same period in 2010. Negative trend also for road machines (-50%) and concrete batching machinery (-17%), i.e. truck mixers, truck mixer pumps, shotcrete machinery, truck mounted and concrete pumps.
"It is the whole Italian market of construction machines that is going through a serious crisis – comments Enrico Santini, Unacea president -. Although exports partially compensate for the sales drop in the interior market, our firms cannot survive the current situation of political instability, delay of payments on the part of the public administration, stoppage of the building yards, and overall lack of an industrial policy regarding our sector."
"2011 risks to become the fourth year of crisis in a row – declares Giampiero Biglia (Cnh – Fiat Industrial), Unacea vicepresident -. Certainly, the negative data of earthmoving machinery is in part due to the seeming increase in sales in June 2010 created by the tax breaks, but, if the recession continues at such pace, there will be serious consequences for the whole sector."
"We welcomed the Table for construction equipment at the Ministry of economic development – adds Enrico Prandini (Komatsu Utiliy Europe), Unacea vicepresident – as an important signal of attention towards our sector. However, we now remark a certain dilatoriness in moving to the operational phase. We have put forward many proposals, one of which in particular is a prerequisite for all the others: a construction equipment registry. The seriousness of the situation is such that the ministry should follow a strict schedule and possibly become more proactive."
Besides the construction equipment registry, which would be useful to know which machines are currently on the market, Unacea proposed to introduce incentives and rewards for those firms that invest in efficiency in building yards, safety, protection of the environment and fleet renewal.
"Concrete batching machinery – affirms Federico Furlani, Simem CEO – is experiencing the same serious crisis as the whole construction equipment sector. At the moment, our firms are reacting by cutting all expenses and focussing on export, even though some important target markets, such as the Middle East, are at a standstill because of socio-political problems. Considering the shortage of resources in the state budget, we don't think a public intervention sustainable; consequently, the only concrete help we can ask of the government in order to promote modernization of batching plants, and ensure safety and respect of environmental regulations, is the introduction of tax breaks. On the other hand, we must encourage our clients to avail themselves of this moment, in which the plants are underused, to evaluate their renewal – an action that, in many cases, could entail considerable cuts in maintenance costs."
"We ask policy-makers to help us contrast the crisis through provisions of public utility – adds Paolo Salvadori, Le Oru-Imer Group president -. We proposed to the Ministry of economic development to reward, by giving them extra points in competitions, the building firms that carry out works with concrete batching plants equipped with pan-mixer and systems to control the production of concrete batching, in order to enhance the quality and safety of the product. In this way, the quality of concrete batching would certainly be higher and, as a consequence, also the safety of buildings would remarkably increase. Moreover, we proposed a similar rewards system for truck mixers equipped with safety systems for cleaning, the discharging chute and the drum block."