Lift truck sales in North America were down in 2020 but for the first quarter of this year were described as “healthy” by the Industrial Truck Association, although it offered no numbers.
“The industrial truck industry had its third best year on record in 2019, and the sales decrease in 2020 with Covid 19 was not unexpected,” says Jay Gusler, who is chairman of ITA and executive vice president of operations for the Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas Group.
“Our industry performed well throughout the pandemic thanks to the essential nature of our products and the dedicated associates in our industry,” he explains.
ITA reported recently that total 2020 forklift truck sales of 230,134 units included electric rider trucks (Class 1 and Class 2, combined), motorized hand trucks (Class 3) and internal combustion-powered trucks (Class 4 and Class 5, combined). Class 2 and Class 3 trucks also experienced a small increase in 2020 from 2019 at 2.0% and 1.1%, respectively.
The remaining classes witnessed declines in 2020, with Class 5 models seeing the largest decrease at 19.7%, the association reports.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of ITA, which represents 90% of the lift truck manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Mexico, notes the association’s President Brian Feehan. Throughout the year it will announce special events and programs to mark the milestone.
“ITA members have been instrumental in leading the way with enhanced safety, engineering practices and market intelligence that guided the industry well over the past seven decades and will continue that leadership role into the future,” Feehan says.