Swedish forwarder market stays strong in 2012 – defies manufacturers’ predictions
Finnish pdf version included!
Elmia’s summary of the 2012 forwarder statistics for the Swedish market shows 335 machines were registered. This is fewer than in the record year of 2011 but in no way a poor result. Machinery manufacturers had believed the forwarder market was strong until the summer but then weakened. In fact, the registration data reveal the opposite was true.
What is most interesting, says Torbjörn Johnsen, business unit manager at Elmia, is that there was no visible sales decline at the end of the year. Instead, the market strengthened further.
“There’s great variation between the performance of the individual manufacturers but taking the market as a whole, the second half of the year saw more machines registered in Sweden than the first half,” he says. “Seventy percent of the forwarders were registered in the southern half of the country.”
Strong market for EcoLog and Ponsse
Compared with the record year of 2011 with its 398 forwarders, most manufacturers registered fewer forwarders in Sweden in 2012. However, EcoLog and Ponsse strongly increased their respective market share and both companies sold a record number of forwarders. Ponsse registered 56 forwarders (compared with 32 in 2011), giving a market share of 17 percent, and EcoLog registered 29 forwarders (compared with 20 in 2011).
Sudden stop for Rottne
John Deere, which had a very strong 2011 with 45 percent of the Swedish forwarder market, is still the market leader but its market share fell to 38 percent in 2012. Komatsu had a difficult year but thanks to a strong last-minute spurt of 17 forwarders registered in December, the company maintained its second place with 19 percent of the market, seven machines ahead of number three, Ponsse. Rottne began the year very strongly with more forwarders registered compared to the same period in 2011. However, for some reason a total stop in sales occurred in August and the company had to give up the forwarder market’s third place.
The big problem child of the 2012 Swedish forwarder market, though, was Gremo. With 11 forwarders sold, the company lost almost two-thirds of its market share compared with its peak in 2009, when 29 Gremo forwarders were registered. In 2012 Gremo sold only three machines more than Tigercat. No Logset forwarder was registered in 2012.
Elmia Wood influences the forwarder market
One interesting question is what the 2013 forwarder market will look like.
“The situation changes very quickly in this market,” Johnsen says. “If you listen to individual manufacturers who haven’t been doing so well, you can get an excessively pessimistic picture of the Swedish market.”
There was a widespread feeling among manufacturers in 2012 that the forwarder market was strong until the summer but then fell off sharply after the long summer holiday. The registration data show the reverse is true, with more machines being registered in the second half of the year and then a surge in December.
Of course there is a difference between the orders on the books and forwarder registrations, so it remains to be seen what 2013 will be like. The manufacturers could be sitting with very thin order books – a situation that would show up in coming months’ registrations.
“We also know from experience that some degree of sales vacuum can occur in the months leading up to Elmia Wood. Many contractors wait to invest until they’ve seen what innovations the manufacturers come up with. But in return, Elmia Wood always tends to inspire purchases, so the sales year can still end strongly. As long as industry needs timber and the machines are working, then new machines will be needed,” concludes Torbjörn Johnsen, who is expecting a positive forwarder year in 2013.
Skotarkartan.se is a Swedish website developed by Elmia’s forestry department. The site presents a map of the location of newly registered forwarders in Sweden and lists the data by manufacturer. The information is based on public records of new registrations from the Swedish Transport Agency. Skotarkartan.se is updated monthly.Caption, EcoLog forwarder: EcoLog forwarder loaded with slash at Elmia Wood 2009.
Caption: EcoLog forwarder loaded with slash at Elmia Wood 2009.