AEM survey: 91% of construction equipment makers seeing decreased equipment demand due to coronavirus impacts

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix
Updated May 5, 2020

Shutterstock 723993466Ninety-three percent of respondents to a recent Association of Equipment Manufacturers survey said coronavirus impact on sales was either “very negative” or “moderately negative.” And 91.3 percent of respondents said a decrease in demand was the primary impact of the pandemic.

Other impacts cited by respondents included supply chain disruptions (74 percent); financial impacts (64.4 percent); reduced production effectiveness (51.9 percent); increased employee absenteeism (50 percent) and non-scheduled shutdowns of manufacturing operations (48.1 percent).

Asked about the 30-day economic impact of the pandemic, 55 percent of survey respondents say it will remain the same, with 42 percent believing it will get worse.

Looking out the rest of the year, 61 percent of the respondents say they expect to lower their financial outlook by between 11 and 30 percent.  If the pandemic lasts another three to six months, 42.2 percent of respondents said they would be able to resume normal operations in three months.

Asked about a specific way the federal government could support equipment manufacturers, 79.2 percent of respondents said they would like to see a significant investment in infrastructure, including immediate passage of a surface transportation reauthorization bill.

The survey had 105 respondents, including heavy equipment manufacturers (54.3 percent); light equipment manufacturers (17 percent) and component and/or attachment manufacturers (25.5 percent) .  Eight out of 10 responding companies (83.9 percent) said construction was their primary segment, while 45.2 said they were in agriculture and 31.2 percent were in mining.

Half of the responding companies employed fewer than 150 employees, while 24.2 percent employed more than 1,000 employees. The survey was taken April 16-27.