A Guide to Top Construction Equipment Manufacturers

Top 5 Construction Equipment Manufacturers in the World

International Construction magazine’s annual Yellow Table ranking of the world’s top construction equipment manufacturers for 2016 was released and, not surprisingly, the same manufacturers that have lead the world for more than a decade are still ranking right at the top.

Caterpillar and Komatsu: #1 and #2

Especially combined, Caterpillar (U.S) and Komatsu (Japan) corner a huge share of the market. Together, these two construction equipment manufacturers constitute almost 30 percent of the total construction equipment manufacturers’ market.


Caterpillar, alone, constitutes almost between 16 percent and 18 percent of the construction equipment market.

Even if Caterpillar loses half of its business in a single year, it will probably remain ranked #1. So strong is Caterpillar that, in 2015 (which was a down year in relation to 2014), it exceeded $30 billion and still saw its profit margins exceed $28 billion.

An even worse year, 2016 saw Caterpillar’s total sales drop to $24 billion. However, Caterpillar still gained a 3 percent larger share of the total market in relation to the year before. In 2016, Caterpillar also had a stranglehold on the market with a total of more than 18 percent of overall revenues.


While it doesn’t have the same off-the-charts numbers as Caterpillar, Komatsu is still devastating the construction equipment manufacturers industry in relation to the next 10 biggest companies, “Komatsu has now ranked no. 2 for the 14th year straight,” according to International Construction.

In 2014, Komatsu’s sales reached nearly $18 billion. In 2015 and 2016, which were both down years, Komatsu still represented more than 10 percent of the total market.

And Everyone Else

While the two powerhouses at the top don’t seem to be going anywhere soon, there does seem to be some consistent movement at the #3, #4 and #5 spots, at least over the last three years.

“There’s not much difference in revenue terms between Terex, Hitachi, Liebherr, Volvo, and John Deere, all of which occupy positions No. 3 through No. 7. It’s fairly common to see them shuffle about like this,” according to International Construction.

#3: Terex

In a single year, from 2014 to 2015, Terex jumped from 6th in the world to 4th. In 2016, Terex took over the #3 spot by bumping Hitachi down one. Like Caterpillar in 2016, Terex also gained a total market share of 3 percent.

#4 Hitachi

Another Japanese company, Hitachi’s being bumped down a spot didn’t really translate to any significant changes to their total market share. Just as in 2015, 2016 left Hitachi with 4.9 percent of the total construction equipment manufacturers’ market. Nor did their sales lag significantly. Hitachi earned $6.5 billion in sales.

#5 Liebherr

A German company, what makes Liebherr’s ascension into the #5 spot is that it specializes solely in cranes. Without manufacturing excavators, backhoes, skid steers, graders, trucks or any other type of construction equipment, Liebherr still managed to corner a significant piece of the market: 4.7 percent.

Again, while many of the companies from the #3 to the #7 spot hold roughly equal pieces of the construction equipment manufacturers’ pie, it is worth noting that from 2015 to 2016, Volvo fell from the #3 spot to the #6. John Deere held steady at #7, while the #8 through #10 spots were rounded out by Doosan, XCMG, and JCB.

Also worth noting, it appears that some of the companies lower down on the list are trying to gain a greater share of the market by increasing fuel efficiency through the use of catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, a philosophy that has served companies like John Deere well in recent years.


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