Forklift sales in the North American market remained robust for the second consecutive year, showing a marginal decline in 2022 after reaching a record level in 2021, according to industry group 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, ITA said.
“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,” ITA President Brian Feehan said in a release. “It is important to recognize that in 2022 and 2021, more than 100,000 units sold above the traditional North American annual market volume.”
By the numbers, 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 including electric rider trucks (Class 1 and Class 2 combined) and motorized hand trucks (Class 3) declining (y/y). 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 (y/y). Class 4 showed growth of over 39% whereas Class 5 grew at a rate of 13.7%.