Construction: buoyant activity for equipment manufacturers in 2022

According to data from trade association Seimat, the French market for construction equipment and materials for the building and public works sector is set to grow by 15% in 2022. Volume growth was also higher than expected. Details of manufacturers' activity.

Construction equipment manufacturers: sales up 15% by 2022

Despite the many difficulties that marked the year 2022, from inflation to supply delays and shortages of raw materials, the French construction equipment sector was buoyed by sustained activity.

According to the Syndicat des Entreprises Internationales de matériels de travaux publics (Seimat), manufacturers of construction and public works equipment will achieve sales of 3.1 billion euros in 2022, up 15% on 2021.

Volume growth also exceeded expectations: 58,200 units were sold, compared with 55,000 in 2021, representing a 6% year-on-year increase. At the beginning of 2022, the Seimat trade association had estimated sales for the year at 57,000 units.


Stable sales volume forecast for 2023

The French construction equipment sector thus came close to its record level of 2019, when 60,000 units were sold. The following year, the Covid-19 pandemic and successive confinements had significantly dampened activity, with fewer than 50,000 units sold.

Mini excavators continue to drive the market, with record sales of almost 13,000 units in 2022, up 4% on 2021. Sales of road-building equipment remained stable, though with a slight drop in paver sales. Despite this, sales remain satisfactory, and their decline is of little concern, as this equipment is not subject to frequent renewal.

On the other hand, Seimat notes a decline in concrete transport and placement activity for the second year running, with a 13% drop in 2022. Manufacturers' lead times are longer, and it is notably more difficult to obtain truck chassis on time. As for handling and lifting equipment, volume growth is the strongest, with an increase of 26% and 28,000 units sold. Telescopic forklift-trucks and aerial work platforms topped the sales charts.

For 2023, Seimat forecasts a stable sales volume of around 58,000 units. However, the Fédération française du bâtiment fears a slowdown in activity from the second half of 2023, with a decline in new construction. Without public support, this downturn could worsen in 2024.