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Urbanization and construction boom in the USA: Catalysts for the E&E market

Everything grows. Houses rise higher and higher. Cities are bursting at the seams. Especially the US construction industry experiences a notable growth in the next years. Our elevator systems for construction projects like Hudson Yards or One World Trade Center in New York City are excellent proof points on how we exploit the market potential in the USA.

Market potential for our products and services

In terms of figures this means that the global elevator and escalator market will likely grow by more than 3% a year. We are one of the top 4 companies in this sector worldwide and hold a strong local market positioning. In the USA – overall a very attractive E&E market – we also generate our biggest EBIT contribution.

The US construction industry is experiencing notable growth. Projects vary from spectacular skyscrapers to highly efficient airports and modern stadiums. And the market in the United States already includes a considerable number of installed elevators; providing remarkable maintenance potential as well as notable demand for new equipment and modernization.

The US-market bears a lot of potential for growth, which we are already utilizing and planning on deriving the best possible benefit from our attractive market position in the region.

A continuous need for Modernization

More than 50 percent of the units installed in the US are older than 20 years. This causes a continuous need for modernization. Kevin Lavallee, our CEO in North America is sure that this development will only push our future: “We are already having a good standing but our position is getting better in the Americas.”

One example for this development over the past years is our plant in Middleton, Tennessee. Since 2005 the effectivity has highly increased here. Before it took around five days to handle a job, today it takes five hours. This is thanks to the Jack Line Optimization Project, which enables the employees to handle the increasing amount of orders in more structured workflows. As Kevin Lavallee points out: “If we have a strong manufacturing organization, we have a strong field organization, we have a strong maintenance and service base. And the only way we do that is by our elevate program and manufacturer.”

The increasing customer demand is further driving the need for modern elevator solutions. Kevin Lavallee uses the example of our plant in Middleton to underline our strength in the region:

“We are the only elevator company producing a complete elevator product in North America. That is a unique competitive advantage. We believe we have the knowhow and the past history to produce elevators here. Successfully, safely and profitably.”

On the way up

Together we dispose over a very strong service organization and cooperate as closely as possible with our customers. Almost half of our employees are service technicians who offer our customers innovative, digitized products and services. Excelling in the North American market requires this excellent customer service. This also means that we – executives, technicians, sales supervisors, branch managers - have to be out there with customers on a regular base.

Urbanization: Life is moving to the cities

The majority of constructional activities are institutional projects but the urban housing market is growing rapidly as well. Since 2000 the urban population is expanding continually.

The exciting construction boom in the USA will continue for decades to come – reasons being the growth of population in the cities as well as the new requirements in regard to quality of life, sustainability and innovation. As new constructions explore the limits of technological possibilities, the challenges to urban mobility solutions are growing at the same time. Our recent construction projects show that we offer solutions.

Just the kickoff: Hudson Yards and One World Trade Center

One of the biggest investments was the development project Hudson Yards. Forty TWIN elevators (two independently operating cabins in one hoistway) were installed in the project’s 50 buildings. The TWIN elevator is the first system industry-wide with two cabins operating independently above one another in the same hoistway. Thus, offering the same transport capacity at reduced space. Furthermore, it is equipped with our unique preventive maintenance system MAX – a cloud-based control system.

Over the rooftops of New York! One of our escalators is being installed in the One World Trade Center.

Moreover, only recently the fastest elevator in the Western Hemisphere was put into operation in One World Trade Center. Thanks to melodious names like The Spiral, The Edge or The Shed, construction projects in New York City will attract a lot of attention in years to come.

Urban Mobility: We provide innovative solutions for the future

Atlanta is an urban mobility hotspot. That’s why we chose this hub for the location of our “Innovation and Qualification Center for Urban Mobility Solutions” which will be completed in 2021. This 128-meter-high test tower for elevators will set new standards in research. Since Atlanta experiences a construction boom as well, our TWIN elevator technology is already being operated in the Coda Building.

This is how it could be used in the future. Our MULTI: The world's first ropeless elevator carries several cars in a single shaft - vertically and horizontally.

Another example is MULTI, our ropeless elevator system – suited perfectly for the buildings of the future. Moreover, we want to create additional value by exploiting IoT opportunities and turning innovations into profitable growth. That includes solutions as the afore-mentioned maintenance system MAX, one of the industry’s first digitally supported system that saves our customers time and increases the efficiency of our service processes.

Our MAX maintenance system halves downtimes: the elevator data is forwarded directly to our employees via a cloud.

We put service at the heart of our business

Service is one of our top-products. Around 1.4 million units are currently serviced by more than 29,000 service technicians. So more than half of our staff works for the best customer service every day. Our future focus will thus lie on the service business to a big amount and we will work on further expanding it by improving processes and optimizing customer service. The IoT application MAX provides a digital solution that helps to increase efficiency and offer customers new digital services.

In order to maintain the quality of our products, the efficiency of our manufacturing and the good relationship with our customers we will implement our digital tools such as VIEW and TIM to optimize our value chain. We also want to expand the availability of MAX to more customers giving one of our best assets – our service – a higher degree of awareness.

Elevator in the USA: Everyone aims high. We will take them there.

Urbanization and the related requirements demand new standards in every area of elevator technology. Our product range and excellent service are a perfect fit for the development of the American market.

With our longstanding experience, our service team and innovative products, we will seize this opportunity to further expand our leading role in the USA and set milestones in mobility for the cities of the future.