European trailer market with positive outlook

Driven by catch-up demand and a solid economic outlook, Europe’s trailer market is on the road to recovery again, according to UK consultancy Clear International.

In 2015, the market has got off to a strong start with registrations of new trailing equipment forecast to grow by 12.8 per cent in the first half and 4.7 per cent in the second, the company said.

By 2016, trailer demand could therefore be back to the level of 2006, which was the third highest trailer registrations level on record. Trailer production is also likely to increase – even though the record volume of 2007-08 may not be seen again in the near future.

According to Clear, several markets which have struggled since the global financial crisis will be contributing the bulk of the new volume.

Italy, for example, is up 68 per cent in the first four months of the year and is expected to finish the year on a similar percentage.

Spain, where registrations last year were half pre-crisis levels, has reportedly started the year up 60 per cent.

The Netherlands, meanwhile, is up 31 per cent for the first four months of the year, also suggesting a healthy 2015.

Next to the UK, which set a new record for trailer demand in 2014, those three countries will account for almost all the extra demand for trailers compared to last year’s forecast figure, Clear found.

“What we are seeing in these markets is basically catch-up demand,” explained Clear Managing Director, Gary Beecroft.

“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 some cases, e.g., Italy and Spain plus Portugal and Ireland, we are starting out from a very low base.”

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