EIMA Green: the green machine in the foreground
The market has returned to sound levels in the area of Europe but indications of sales in Italy are still negative though there are hopes for a reversal of the trend in the current year in light of a very limited decline in 2013. The 2014 edition of EIMA Green, the international salon on mechanization in gardening and groundskeeping scheduled for November in Bologna, was unwrapped at the Vita in Campagna, Life in the Countryside Fair in Montichiari
The sector of mechanization for gardening and groundskeeping has come through its critical phase and is recovering in dynamics. Following the international financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009 the European market is returning to substantial sales. Estimates for 2013 are for sales on the continental market, the European Union and beyond, coming to a total of nearly 15 million units of mowers, brush cutters, garden tractors and ride-ons and other types of machinery and equipment for hobbyists and professional groundskeeping for a gain of 0.6% over the 2012 figure. The United Kingdom was confirmed as the leader on the continent thanks especially to some types of machine, mainly mowers, with 2013 sales at more than one million units to account for one quarter of the total of 4.3 million for all of Europe. Sales in Italy climbed steadily in the opening years of the past decade to then plunge with the onset of crisis conditions in 2009. After a 12% drop in 2012 under the previous year, the current estimate is for a much more limited decline of 1.6% shown by one million units sold to signal a possible reversal of the trend in 2014 which might return the sector to the black. In detail, the data elaborated by Comagarden on the basis of a sample of farms belonging to Morgan disclosed various trends for each of the products. Mowers closed the year down 5.7% with little more than 223,300 units sold, chainsaws showed a sharper drop of 12.8% with a total of 277,800 units moved and leaf blowers and vacuums were off by 7.6% at 73,800 units. On the plus side were advances for brush cutters, up 16.4% with 207,000 units sold, trimmers gaining 4.5% to 65,000 units and hedge trimmers surging by 32% up to 86,900 units. Again on the down side were hobbyist lawn tractors, falling by 1.8% to 14,000 units and hobbyist ride-ons falling 8.7% to 5,100 units whereas professional ride-ons rose 1.6% to 460 units moved. This round-up of data on machinery and equipment for gardening and groundskeeping was made public 21 March in Montichiari at the Vita in Campagna (Life in the Countryside) Fair – sponsored by the publishing group L’Informatore Agrario – by Comagarden, the association in FederUnacoma which represents the Italian manufacturers of machinery and equipment for gardening and the maintenance of greens. Another purpose of the press conference, led by the association's secretary for operations, Federica Tugnoli, was the presentation of the new edition of EIMA Green coming up in the setting of the great EIMA International exposition slated for 12 to 16 November in Bologna. For the most recent edition, the EIMA Green Salon hosted as many as 160 industries in the sector, including 50 which arrived from abroad, taking over more than 15,000 m² of exhibition area. A look at the trend of requests for participation in the 2014 edition shows that the number of industries is likely to grow even more with further gains of those coming from countries around the globe, including the United States, Japan, Germany, South Korea and China. Tugnoli explained, “The review has strong international features and will be a sort of thermometer for gauging the trend of the markets around the world as regards professional end-users as well as the amateur segment. Within an event like that of EIMA International, attention will be trained on technicians and businesspeople in mechanization for agriculture and forestry and EIMA Green is outstanding precisely because of the salon's dual dimension as a professional review for professionals and experts in the field as well as an outing for the general public of enthusiasts and hobbyists looking for technical equipment and solutions which ensure quality, reliability and safety in caring for home gardens,” the Comagarden secretary added.