Lift truck sales in North America hit an all-time record in 2015, surpassing the record high set in 2006 prior to the Great Recession, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) said today.
Total retail orders in all lift truck classes reached 225,534 units last year, bettering the 215,000-unit sales figure reached in 2006, ITA said in a statement. (The total numbers do not include export sales.)
Electric lift truck sales, which have steadily gained overall market share in recent years, rose 8 percent to 141,846 units. Sales of engine-powered lift trucks came in at 83,688 units, the group said. The statement did not detail whether sales of engine-powered vehicles rose or fell in 2015.
Electric lift trucks now account for 63.4 percent of all lift trucks sold in North America, according to ITA data.
"An increase in electric lift truck sales is due to several reasons, including the emphasis on reduced emissions in many work environments," said ITA President Brian Feehan in the statement. Feehan said that more than 1 million lift trucks were sold worldwide in 2015.
Lift truck sales have been boosted by the growth of e-commerce, and a slowly but steadily improving U.S. economy, which have led companies to increase the number of distribution centers (DCs) in their U.S. networks. New DCs require the additions of entire fleets of lift trucks.