Using hydraulic fluid to store energy was another tactic manufacturers employed to make vehicles more efficient. Shunning electric power for its latest hybrid, ">Caterpillar showed its 336EH hydraulic-hybrid excavator, a 40-ton unit that promises to save 25% in fuel yet cost just 9% more than the non-hybrid model.

"As diesel fuel prices rise around the world, the opportunities for these open up exponentially," said Oberhelman. Last fall, Cat shipped its 500th D7E, a diesel-electric dozer introduced in 2009.

Also joining the hydraulic-hybrid party was Liebherr, which exhibited a Pactronic hybrid duty-cycle crane that takes advantage of gravity pulling against the hoist to pump up an accumulator for future release. It also showed a concept excavator that captures both electric and hydraulic energy. Hyundai showed a Hi-POSS 24-ton hydraulic-hybrid excavator, scheduled to go into production for European buyers next year.

Emerging Markets

International visitors—more than a third of the total attendees—turned out in high numbers. Only eight ">Chinese vendors exhibited at Bauma in 2001; this year, there were 323, according to show manager Messe München GmbH. China-based XCMG reported selling 120 units worth $13 million. Terex Corp.'s Genie division reported selling 40 model SX-180 boom lifts, the tallest in the world at 180 ft and ">transportable without permits.

Buyers in Brazil said they were eager to see manufacturers continue to expand there, but labor shortages and policies, such as high import duties, pose risks to the country's fleet. Today, it stands at 560,000 units, needing $4 billion each year in parts and service, according to Sobratema, a Brazilian construction trade group. Projects there are expected to provide steady demand for new machines, to an annual 111,000 units by 2017.