The Mobile Cranes division achieved revenues of €2,057 million in the financial year 2017. This represents a slight drop of - €15 million, or - 0.7 %, compared with the previous year.
Growing market shares for mobile cranes
The sideways trend on the world market for mobile cranes continued in 2017. The global demand for crawler cranes in 2017 was slightly above the level of the previous year. For Liebherr, this was particularly noticeable with crawler cranes in the 300-tonne-plus class. Here, the division expanded its share of the global market to 47.9 %. By contrast, there was a decline in demand for mobile cranes under 300 tonnes. The LR 1300 remained the best-selling lattice boom crawler crane. Liebherr’s worldwide share of the market for all-terrain cranes stood at 52.4 %, slightly below the previous year’s level. The strongest demand recorded was for machines in the 3-axle to 6-axle classes.
In Western Europe, the division slightly increased its sales compared with the year before. Particularly in Germany, the market was highly dynamic. Despite the Brexit debate, demand in the United Kingdom even exceeded the previous year’s level. However, sales took a slight downturn in Denmark, Austria and Belgium. Southern Europe saw a positive development, particularly in Italy. In Eastern Europe, sales were at the previous year’s level.
Outstanding development in Japan and Australia
In the Far East / Australia region, sales increased significantly. Notably, Japan and Australia saw outstanding development. The generally positive development in the Far East / Australia region stands in contrast to the significant downturn in sales in the Near and Middle East. Sales generally decreased in the Americas as well. In the USA, the already high demand for mobile cranes continued to rise, while crawler crane sales declined. The Argentinian and Canadian markets recovered in comparison with the previous year. Mexico, however, witnessed a downturn following strong development the year before.
The number of new machines sold increased last year. Meanwhile, the trend towards smaller machines continued in 2017. Sales figures for used machines also exceeded the level from the year before.
Liebherr expanded its product portfolio to include rough-terrain cranes, they are tailor-made for the requirements of the key market of North America.
New rough-terrain cranes for the North American Market
During the reporting year, Liebherr expanded its product portfolio to include the new LRT 1090-2.1 and LRT 1100-2.1 rough-terrain cranes. These new models were unveiled at the 2017 Conexpo trade fair in Las Vegas (NV / USA). Based on extensive analyses, they are tailor-made for the requirements of rough-terrain cranes in the key market of North America. The four-axle LTM 1090-4.2, which features variable axle loads, was also launched at Conexpo.
Furthermore, the LTM 1450-8.1 mobile crane, first announced in 2016, was successfully brought onto the market. This eight-axle model features the world’s longest telescopic boom, which is capable of travelling on public roads with a 12-tonne axle load.
Among the developments in the mobile crane series last year, Liebherr also continued to focus on a one-engine strategy and the intelligent drive train system ECOmode. With these improvements, cranes like the LTM 1090-4.2 or LTM 1450-8.1 have become more fuel efficient and therefore more environmentally friendly.
Intelligent construction site planning for heavy lifts
In 2017, the division reworked LR crawler cranes weighing below 300 tonnes, with an increased focus on machine safety. Depending on their use, crawler cranes must meet various safety-related standards. New operating modes, as well as corresponding capacity load curves and load moment limitations, now make it easier to meet these standards when using grappling and floating devices, as well as during foundations works and when lifting people.
In addition, with Crane Planner 2.0, Liebherr released a revised version of its planning software for cranes to the market. This tool combines interactive 3D modelling with all the relevant planning data. Any change in the crane’s geometry prompts an immediate recalculation of the data. Furthermore, the division expanded its VarioBase® support base range and VarioBallast® ballast design to include additional crane models.
Over the last year, the Mobile Cranes division invested primarily in properties, office and plant equipment, as well as machinery and plants.
The division’s sales for 2018 are expected to outperform the 2017 level. Order volume is already at an outstanding level for the beginning of 2018.