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Strong Demand From China Boosts Heavy Equipment Sales

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Construction machinery manufacturers saw robust second-quarter earnings fueled by infrastructure and mining activity in Asia and Latin America, while North America rental companies and contractors replaced aging and obsolete fleets for a small but significant uptick in domestic sales. Many contractors sold off equipment during the downturn as work became scarce, opting to rent rather than own.

Caterpillar Inc.'s second-quarter earnings soared to $1.02 billion, a 44% increase over last year, and the company is spending over $1 billion to ramp-up production in China. Volvo Construction Equipment strengthened its position in wheel-loader and excavator sales in China in the second quarter, taking 11.8% of the market. Sweden-based Volvo's net sales increased 32% in the second quarter over last year. Terex Corp. posted $1.5 billion in second-quarter sales, up 37.8% from the prior year, driven by strong demand. Deere & Co. posted $904 million in second-quarter earnings, or 65% more than a year ago.

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