Forklift sales in the North American market remained robust for the second consecutive year during 2022 after reaching a record level in 2021, according to the Industrial Truck Association (ITA). Despite headwinds from high levels of inflation and mixed economic indicators, retail orders decreased by only 1% year-over-year, closing out the year as the second-highest on record.
“The dedication and commitment by all of our associates is a powerful testament to the industry’s ability to meet the accelerated demand in 2022 and 2021,” says Chuck Pascarelli, ITA chairman of the board of directors and president, Americas of the Hyster Yale Group.
Year-end 2022 forklift truck sales of 344,330, spanning all classes (1-5), trailed the previous year (347,677) by slightly more than 3,000 units.
Industry performance varied among the classes, with electric rider trucks (Class 1 and Class 2 combined) and motorised hand trucks (Class 3) declining. Class 3 showed the greatest decline of 11%. Class 1 declined by nearly 10% and Class 2 declined by 8.3%.
The market for internal combustion trucks, Classes 4 and 5, grew significantly - Class 4 by over 39% while Class 5 grew at a rate of 13.7%.
“Many economists are predicting stagnant levels of growth in GDP for 2023. To date through March 2023, the North American market is down 31.9% year-over-year. Ultimately, we will have to wait and see how the forklift market fares during the year, given the predicted economic challenges facing the country,” says Brian Feehan, president of ITA. “It is important to recognise that in 2022 and 2021, more than 100,000 units sold above the traditional North American annual market volume.”