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UK lift truck sales up 2.5%

The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) – the UK trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of fork lift truck and associated components and services – has revealed volumes of forklift trucks sold across the UK increased 2.5% during 2018, to just over 35,000 units.

The latest highlights from the BITA market analysis, published exclusively in-full to BITA members, shows that the materials handling sector bucked the predictions of a slowing in GDP to enjoy a stong finish to the year.

The biggest winner overall was the powered pallet truck market, experiencing significant, double digit percentage growth, emphasising the UK’s surge in courier and express delivery service usage.

The other big winners were diesel engine counterbalance trucks – with sales up +7% in 2018, bucking the trends being seen in the comparative automotive sector – closely followed by a recovery in the market for LPG/petrol engine counterbalance trucks (+5.5%), and electric counterbalance trucks (+3.4%).

Access to statistics and forecasts are key benefits for BITA members and provide anchor points for strategy planning – vital at times of uncertainty and when the economic climate is so clouded.

The BITA Spring Forecast, due for release to members in mid-May 2019, is already hotly anticipated.

“Based on data to be compiled during Q1 2019, the analysis and forecasting will provide a fascinating insight into the UK’s economy during a period of economic and political uncertainty, while providing members with solid data on which to base their plans for the second half of 2019,” said BITA Secretary General James Clark.

Over the last 10 years, the UK forklift market has risen dramatically from a low in 2009 of 17,658 units to 2018’s figure of just over 35,000 units.

BITA forecasting has reliably predicted this trajectory across the decade and provides members with economic and industry modelling, market forecasts and analysis. Coupled with comment on wider business implications and identifying trends, the BITA forecast is an invaluable member benefit and is often used as a barometer to the health of the wider UK economy.

Released twice a year – in late Spring and Autumn – BITA forecasts are conducted and authored by Oxford Economics, a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis.

BITA is the sole provider of industrial truck sales statistics in the UK, contributed by – and only made available to – BITA members.

BITA’s exclusive market analysis provide an ongoing illustration of market conditions as recorded by all of its manufacturing members representing well over 90% of the UK market. BITA thus holds a unique repository of information on the current state and historical trends of the UK fork-lift market.



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