The lift truck market in North America is at an all-time record high in the material handling industry. Total retail orders in all classes, excluding exports, totaled 225,534 units in 2015. It is the first year lift truck sales are higher than the industry’s pre-recession level of 215,000 units in 2006.
“After a slow and steady recovery from the recession, the North American lift truck industry is healthy and strong,” says Brett Wood, President & CEO of Toyota Material Handling North America and Industrial Truck Association (ITA) Chairman of the Board. “We hope more skilled professionals see our growth and realize the many opportunities available for an exciting career in the material handling industry and specifically the lift truck industry.”
Breaking down the results, the number of electric lift trucks sold in 2015 was 141,846 units and the number of engine-powered lift trucks sold was 83,688 units. Electric lift trucks increased over 8% compared to the prior year and now represent over 63% of all lift trucks sold in North America. The mix is now 63.4% electric lift trucks and 36.6% engine-powered lift trucks.
“An increase in electric lift truck sales is due to several reasons including the emphasis on reduced emissions in many work environments,” says Brian Feehan, President of the Industrial Truck Association. “From a global perspective, overall world lift truck sales in 2015 were over 1,000,000 units with North America being one of the largest markets for lift trucks.”