Everything to play for in Las Vegas at CONEXPO-CON/AGG

By Jenny LescohierFebruary 19, 2023

While the economy might cool some sectors in 2023, there remains enough pent-up demand to create an industry-needed pause

The construction industry has weathered a range of crises since the last CONEXPO-CON/AGG, in 2020. While uncertainties remain, there is a lot to be optimistic about, says Tate Johnson, president of Yanmar Compact Equipment North America.

“The last CONEXPO-CON/AGG was marked by Covid-19, with the world literally shutting its borders as the week-long show progressed,” Johnson recalls. “In the intervening three years, we have endured the pandemic, supply chain shocks, war in Europe, and more recently, inflation and monetary tightening.

“We have also ‘enjoyed,’ if that’s the right word, an extraordinary boom in demand for construction equipment. While this has created its own challenges, in terms of production stress and waits for deliveries, this is a nice problem to complain about.”

Confident about the future

While the economy might cool some sectors in 2023 - including possibly residential construction, Johnson says there remains enough pent-up demand that this might come as an industry-needed pause.

“All in all, there are more positive drivers in the U.S. economy than negative ones,” he notes. “Dealers’ and rental firms’ stock levels have been depleted, and these channels need to be replenished. In any event, thanks to its lower prices, compact equipment tends to be hit less hard than more expensive, general-purpose equipment, whenever there are investment uncertainties.

“Because of these factors we are sufficiently confident about the future to keep our foot firmly on the gas,” he states.

“We also have the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the money for which hasn’t hit the street in earnest yet,” Johnson says. “The many billions of dollars of

Tate Johnson, president of Yanmar Compact Equipment North America

investment this is pumping into the industry will begin breaking ground in the coming months.

“Compact equipment will enjoy its share of this, particularly in highway work and installing fiber to promote broadband access across the U.S. Given all this, we believe that 2023 will be another good year for the construction equipment market.”

Three years after acquiring ASV Holdings Inc., a Minnesota-based manufacturer of compact tracked equipment and skid-steer loaders, the Yanmar Compact Equipment Division has established Yanmar Compact Equipment North America (YCENA) as a single legal entity encompassing both brands.

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