Overall sales orders rise by 24% in 2010

• Engine powered counterbalance trucks strongest category with 30% increase

BITA (the British Industrial Truck Association) has announced that sales orders for forklift trucks increased by 24% in 2010, marking the first annual rise for three years.

Based on the latest figures from BITA’s UK forklift sales statistics, the new numbers will provide evidence of improving fortunes for an industry that has experienced falling sales throughout the economic downturn.

As the sole provider of industrial truck sales statistics, which are contributed by – and only made available to – its members, BITA can disclose that engine powered counterbalance trucks, which make up 32% of the overall market, experienced the biggest increase in 2010, with orders increasing by 30%. This equates to an increase of 29% and 32% for Diesel and LPG trucks respectively.

Electric-powered rider warehouse equipment, dominated by reach trucks, enjoyed an increase in sales orders of 29%, and electric powered counterbalanced trucks orders rose by 22% in 2010. Pedestrian trucks also saw a decent increase of sales orders, finishing the year with a rise of 15%.

James Clark, Secretary-General of BITA, comments: “Although economic indicators are still mixed, the latest statistics are consolidating our optimism for a steady increase in sales orders across all forklift categories throughout 2011.”

The increase in sales is partly due to the UK’s emergence from a recession in the latter period of 2009; however BITA had already seen evidence of a recovery in the lift-truck market during the months preceding this point. As James Clark explains: “BITA’s 2010 UK Forklift Truck Market Outlook* noted evidence of a rebound in manufacturing activity during Q3 and Q4 2009, due to an increase in exports and restocking. The service sector had also begun to rise again, which gave reason to expect a positive outlook throughout 2010 for the industry as a whole.”

James concludes: “BITA will continue to play its part in supporting the industry’s return to better health this year. We are continuing to experience strong demand for our technical advice and guidance, not to mention our famous pocket-sized Safety Booklets and technical Guidance Notes.”

* BITA’s annual economic forecast for the forklift truck market, typically issued in May every year, is an exclusive member benefit.


James Clark, Secretary General

Tel: 01344 623800

Email: james.clark@bita.org.uk

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