For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you will know that I have just come back from a visit to Eurocell. Here is a shed load of their extruders:

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A very long but impressive row of extruders…

Although a lot of you may know what they have up their sleeve, due to be released fairly soon, I have been told (REPEATEDLY!) that I’m not to break ranks and tell everyone! However, what Eurocell, and indeed many other manufacturers are engaging in now is the next big battleground, and that is the upcoming battle between the PVC and timber sectors.

Aesthetically, PVC has been making leaps and bounds in single years. The likeness to timber now on some products in almost unbelievable, and is fooling customers in showroom now up and down the country. This is only a great thing from a PVC point of view as the age old argument about PVC being ugly, chunky and cheap looking is very much dying and at pace. The current crop of PVC products are aimed specifically at stealing business from the timber market, and this is going to make for a very interesting battle.

Certain PVC products are that good now that conservation areas that used to specify timber only are now considering PVC, and in some cases choosing PVC over timber. Purists and the anti-PVC brigade may not like this, but facts are facts. PVC has caught up with timber on all fronts and the two material types are about to go head to head over the next few years and it is going to make for a great watch.

Whilst watching two massive sectors of the industry pit their wits against each other to steal market share is going to make for good watching, there is also a benefit to both. Competition breeds competition, and the drive to improve and expand. What we are going to see over the next five to ten years is even further advancements not only in the offerings within the PVC market but the timber also. PVC and timber manufacturers won’t want to be left behind by the competition, especially not now the market is becoming more and more fragmented. Market share is getting harder and harder to gain and much easier to lose. The race to bring out the next great ground breaking product is going to be hotter than ever, and this can really only be a good thing long term.

So, here’s to the battle ahead. Lets all enjoy it and reap the benefits it will bring.