BITA predicts downbeat picture

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The British Industrial Truck Association has predicted an extended and significant downturn for the forklift truck industry during 2009, based on its members’ sales statistics.

Counterbalance shipments are expected to drop by 47.4 per cent, warehouse shipments by 49.5 per cent for class two and 42.6 per cent for class three, compared to last year.

However, it did suggest the industry would see moderate growth during 2010, with a stronger rebound in 2011, as the economic recovery gathers pace.

The report was authored by Oxford Economics and was presented at the association’s 2009 AGM.

James Clark, secretary general of BITA, said: “When we invested in this economic forecasting service for members, we knew it would be an invaluable tool for helping the industry predict, plan towards and prepare themselves for the future.

“I believe the current economic situation now validates our investment, since while we know we are in the grip of a recession, it’s essential now to establish a clear path through the downturn and, ultimately, out of it with success.”

Independent business guru Cathy Bennett was also at the AGM, outlining tips to help companies survive the recession.

She said: I believe in consistently applying the basics, sticking to what you are good at and then making sure you deliver what you promise, and I reiterated that to BITA members. In terms of success, it is vital to prepare for the industry’s recovery, by creating innovative solutions for your customers which set you ahead of the competition.”

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