According to Liebherr, 2023 will be a challenging year with labor shortages and supply chain issues further complicating its operations around the world.
However, the German manufacturing giant is also seeing strong sales figures from its international operations, with the US proving to be a particularly healthy market for the company.
Kai Friedrich, managing director of Liebherr USA, says the group has come through the difficult period of the pandemic stronger than ever. “We have faced many changes and many challenges.”
Some of the problems faced by construction machinery companies have been alleviated, Friedrich commented, adding: “The worst is over and delivery times are improving. We have seen that things have relaxed since the third quarter of 2022.
For Liebherr USA, 2022 was very healthy, and according to Friedrich: “Our preliminary results suggest that 2022 was a record for Liebherr in the US.
“Liebherr is well positioned to meet the high demand for cranes and construction machinery. Our commitment to the market goes beyond the development of new machines”.
Distribution and customer support remain of key importance to the company, he said.
Liebherr has been investing heavily in its US operations, spending $60 million expanding its Newport News headquarters in Virginia, adding manufacturing capacity, a new parts and services operation and a new administration block.
The company has further expansion plans in the works and will develop its facilities in the southwestern US.
The company is also looking to the future with regard to the use of new technologies, Friedrich said. “We see digitization as a key opportunity.” Assistance systems and autonomous technology offer significant benefits for operators.
“Automated data exchange between machines is another advance. Processes on construction sites can be optimized to increase production.”
New energy systems are another key future development for Liebherr, and the company wants to develop clean technologies. Liebherr already offers a number of all-electric cranes and drills, with more electric models in development.
Alternative fuels are another important technology, as the company unveiled its H964 internal combustion engine prototype that runs on hydrogen. This unit has four cylinders, a capacity of 9 liters and has direct injection. It will be available for use on a range of construction machines and will be able to tackle a wide range of tasks.