Forklift sales on the rise in 2017

April 2, 2018 By    

Forklift truck sales in North America saw their third consecutive year of growth in 2017, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) reports.

More than a quarter-million units were sold in 2017, up 9.5 percent from 2016 and 12.2 percent from 2015, the former all-time high for forklift sales with 225,534 units sold.

“The 2017 sales numbers of 253,146 exceeded most industry expectations,” says Brian Feehan, president of ITA.

Feehan notes the continued expansion of e-commerce and advancements in technology, coupled with solid U.S. and global economic performance, as contributing factors to the growth. All truck classes demonstrated an increase from 2016, including a 19 percent growth in the internal combustion class 5 trucks.

Electric products accounted for about 64 percent of the market in 2017, ITA says. While electric forklifts have 64 percent of the entire forklift market, propane has significant market share in the class 4 and 5 forklift markets, according to Jeremy Wishart, director of off-road business development for the Propane Education & Research Council.

“Propane competes head to head with electric rider trucks, otherwise known as class 1, where it also outsells electric by four to one,” Wishart says. “In all three of these class sizes, propane forklifts are far and away the class leader.”

About the Author:

Clara Richter was a managing editor at LP Gas magazine.

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