The Garage Equipment industry is bracing itself for significant price increases in 2008, due to the sharp decline of the value of the pound. Over recent months the exchange rate against the Euro, US Dollar and even Chinese RMB has fallen sharply and with very little equipment produced in UK, costs for imported equipment are rising to new high levels.
We spoke to Ray Calcutt, Managing Director of Boston who commented “the industry imports almost everything and the pound is at a record low. It’s likely that some suppliers have changed prices from January because costs have continued to increase since last summer. However at Boston, we are not increasing any product prices at least until April, and then we’ll review the situation. We produce some equipment in the UK, but manufacturing sector prices here are now rising at the fastest rate for seventeen years.”
Italy, Holland and Germany are the largest manufacturing sources for the UK garage industry, with smaller imports from USA, China, France and Scandinavia. In addition to manufacturing costs, most shipping and haulage charges are priced in euros and dollars, putting further pressure on distributor margins.
Garages planning to install equipment this year, may be well advised to buy sooner rather than later as the forecast for sterling is for continued falls and this will make further price rises unavoidable.