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Manufacturers ‘bullish on HVACR industry outlook’

Encouragingly, 72% of exhibitors plan to introduce new products at the January 2012 AHR Expo in Chicago

| | Nov 30, 2011 | 2:47 pm
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Encouragingly, 72% of exhibitors plan to introduce new products at the January 2012 AHR Expo in Chicago

Despite widespread concern about the global economy, manufacturers appear to be very optimistic about the economic outlook for the HVACR industry. According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 AHR Expo exhibitors worldwide, 72% of the total respondents expect a ‘better year’ (59%) or a ‘much better year’ (13%) in 2012 compared to 2011. Twenty-four per cent replied that sales would be the ‘same’, while only four per cent are expecting a ‘worse year’.

The fact that 72% of respondents expect a better year in 2012 is up six per cent from last year’s survey that found 66% of respondents were expecting 2011 to be better than 2010. All categories of predictions for 2012 were up from 2011 forecasts, including those for a ‘much better year’ (13% vs 9%) and ‘better year’ (59% vs 57%). Likewise, only four per cent predicted a ‘worse year’ in 2012 compared to seven percent in 2011.

Another very positive survey finding is that 82% of respondents expect sales to increase in 2012, with 29% anticipating increases of more than 10%. An additional 36% said sales would increase between five and 10%, while 17% expect sales to increase less than five per cent. Eighteen per cent expect sales to ‘stay the same’.

Some survey respondents expect significant sales increases in 2012. Ethan Hoberman, Sales Manager at Pridiom, said that following an anticipated 40% growth in 2011, they are “expecting to double sales in 2012”.

This overall optimistic 2012 outlook may be due in part to the fact that 76% of the respondents believe there is ‘pent-up industry demand’ for new products. This compares to the 61% that felt there was pent-up demand in 2011, which is an indication that their customers are getting ready to buy more new equipment.

“After several years of slow growth and sales, replacement/new equipment should start to grow as equipment becomes too old/obsolete/worn-out to be repaired,” Hoberman said.

Another encouraging survey finding is that 72% of the exhibitors plan on introducing new products at the 2012 AHR Expo in Chicago, from January 23 to 25. This is up sharply from the 62% of companies that said they were introducing new products at the 2011 event. This also indicates that many exhibitors expect their customers to come ready to buy.

“We anticipate 2012 will be a much better year, based on the industry leading products we have launched in the last two years and what we will be launching in 2012,” added Don Winter, Vice President of Marketing, McQuay International.

Other major findings of the survey were:
•The industry segments where they expect the strongest demand for their products in 2012 are Light Commercial (24%), Heavy Commercial (13%), Industrial (26%), Residential (26%) and Institutional (11%)
•The industry categories where they expect the strongest demand for products are New Construction (37%), Replacement (36%) and Renovation/ Upgrade (26%)
•The geographical marketplaces where they expect the greatest demand are domestic (71%) and international (29%)

“These survey results and the fact that this will be the largest AHR Expo in the Show’s 82-year history bodes well for the HVACR industry outlook”, said Clay Stevens, President of International Exposition Company, which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “Manufacturers know that their customers will finally need to replace their worn-out equipment with more energy-efficient technology so they have reserved exhibit space in record numbers to meet this demand.”

The 2012 AHR Expo will feature more than 1,900 exhibitors from around the world showcasing hundreds and hundreds of innovative new products to over 50,000 attendees and exhibitor personnel. The 2012 AHR Expo is endorsed by 31 leading HVACR industry associations and is co-sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). The Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) is an honorary sponsor. ASHRAE’s Winter Conference is held concurrently with the AHR Expo each year.

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