Turkey leads strong Eastern Europe heavy trailer demand

Automotive and transport consulting group, CLEAR has shown that there was growth of 58 per cent in heavy trailer demand in Eastern Europe in 2011. Thirteen of the fifteen countries covered in the report had growth of over 30 per cent, while three other markets grew by more than 100 per cent. The stand-out nation was Turkey, which completely recovered from the downturn of 2009 to post record trailer demand in 2010 and 2011, making it the largest trailer market in Eastern Europe.

Gary Beecroft, managing director of CLEAR said: “The outlook for East European new trailer demand in 2012 has not changed – like Western Europe there will be a fall in the market. However, the prospects for 2013/14 have brightened and are better than forecast last year. Turkey looked overheated in 2011, but if planned investments go ahead, it will enhance its position as a major trailer manufacturing centre over the next few years.”

CLEAR suggested that Turkey was likely to remain strong until overtaken by Russia again in the long term, with Poland relegated to third place. In fact, in 2011 Turkey was the largest market anywhere in Europe with the sole exception of Germany.

Adding background to its analysis, the consultant remarked on how far the East European trailer market fell since the peak in 2007. After the initial drop of 11 per cent in 2008 there was a collapse, resulting in a drop of 61 per cent in 2009. The demand for new trailers was returned to the level of 2002. The drop was so drastic that it will take until 2014 to recover to the level of new trailer demand last seen in 2006.

Unlike Western Europe however, the drop in demand will not lead to a fall in the size of the total trailer parc, which even in 2009 was estimated to have grown by 3 per cent.  Over the next five years the trailer parc will grow by an average of 6.2 per cent, which again is far higher than the figure for Western Europe, CLEAR said.

Trailer demand in the countries of Eastern Europe will recover at different rates – some moving back onto a high growth path quite quickly.  Others experienced such rapid growth from 2002 to 2007 that they now have nearly enough trailers to meet their countries’ transport needs.  In these cases, trailer demand will never return to the levels seen in 2006/7, CLEAR concluded.

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