A busy MODEX 2018 was a sign of growth in the US market
Forklift sales in the North American market continue their unprecedented increase. According to figures from the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), 2018 marked the fourth consecutive year of historic growth, with over a quarter million units sold and a 2.8% increase from 2017.
"All five truck classes exhibited growth in 2018, representing diverse demand across product lines," says Scott Johnson, ITA chairman and vice president of marketing and sales for CLARK Material Handling Company.
Year-end forklift truck sales of 260,180 included electric rider trucks (Class 1 and Class 2 combined), motorised hand trucks (Class 3) and internal combustion-powered trucks (Class 4 and Class 5 combined). Electric and internal combustion truck sales grew at similar rates, showing annual increases of 2.8% and 2.7%, respectively. Overall, electric products accounted for approximately 64% of last year's market.
"Industrial truck sales continue to play an integral role in keeping the US economy moving," says Johnson. "The market contributes more than USD25 billion annually to the US GDP, and for every direct job in the industry, an additional 2.5 jobs are supported elsewhere in the economy."
Canada and Mexico remain the two largest export countries for US forklift manufacturers, prompting ITA president Brian Feehan to call for support of the trade agreement being currently considered. "Passage of the United States Mexico Canada Trade Agreement will play a critical role in maintaining the health of our industry," he says. "A successful conclusion to USMCA will provide the long-term policy framework manufacturers and consumers need to ensure the North American market remains one of the strongest for our industry."
was formerly known as NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. While the agreement has been signed, it has not yet been ratified.