After Minneapolis Tragedy, Upper Midwest DOTs Must Find Infrastructure FundingBy Jack Babb
Article Date: 01-01-2008
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Upper Midwest Region
J.D. Evans, Inc.,
Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Upper Midwest Region has a cautious, optimistic outlook for 2008. There are signs that it could be better than experts are predicting.
The region finished 2007 fairly strong, but was marred with several tradegies, including: the I-35W bridge collapse, the flooding in all parts of the Midwest, tornados, etc. The tragedy of the bridge has put all DOTs on notice by the driving public that we need safe highways. This will push up some highway projects in all areas. Funding is the difficult part of the equation - all DOTs have funding problems. AED member companies can help push legislation for more effective funding mechanisms in the future.
The private sector is where the region will have the most opportunity for growth. If interest rates stay at current levels, the potential for growth is there. Hospitals, malls, oil refineries, railroads, ethanol plants, etc., will be strong markets for our customers to develop relationships.
The housing market in the Upper Midwest has slowed down, but it is hurt more by the subprime mess and tightening of credit by lenders. We might see an uptick in housing by second quarter if interest rates remain low.
One area that dealers need to be on top of is the new and used inventory carried over. Because 2008 is a CONEXPO year, manufacturers will be pushing out product and it might be at a better price than we have in older inventory. We will see large auctions in spring with bigger contractors selling off good late-model equipment to get their balance sheets in order. This will put more stress on our inventory.
Nevertheless, we are excited about possibilities in the Upper Midwest and wish everyone success!
[ TOP ]