RoadWorks: Down but not out
Better Roads Staff
… at least in Europe’s construction industry
Despite Iceland’s high-flying volcanic ash interrupting air travel, bauma, the world’s leading trade fair for the construction machinery industry, hosted more than 415,000 visitors from more than 200 countries in Munich, Germany, in April.
The show, held every three years, also reported a record number of exhibitors and exhibition space. Almost half the exhibitors expected the economic situation to improve, according to a survey of the exhibitors.
The show’s organizers said the event “marked a turnaround in the international construction machinery industry, ushering in the hoped-for change in sentiment. And this was despite the ban on air travel which impacted on the first few days of the fair.”
“The mood in the industry shows that in Europe the bottom of the cycle is now behind us. Confidence has returned,” said Ralf Wezel, secretary-general of the Committee for European Construction Equipment.
Although the air travel ban prevented visitors and approximately 50 exhibitors from getting to the fair, the mood at the venue among the approximately 3,150 registered exhibitors from 53 countries was good by the close of the fair, said show organizers. By the mid-way point of the fair, said bauma, a number of exhibitors were reporting more sales than they had expected.
“The good old times are coming back,” said Michael Heidemann, managing director of Zeppelin and CEO of Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH, Germany. “The figures for sales taken at the fair far exceed our expectations. We reckon we will be able to match the volume we took at the record bauma in 2007.”
Michikazu Okada, vice-president of Hitachi Sumitomo Heavy Industries Construction Crane Co., Ltd., Japan said, “We had a lot of new business opportunities some of which already resulted in unexpected conclusions of sale.” v
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