The truck equipment industry is poised to be reshaped by consolidation and other factors, according to the North American Truck Equipment Industry Outlook and Strategy Report released by the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA).
The study, prepared by Acclaro Growth Partners, was designed to help NTEA members and industry professionals understand the issues affecting the truck equipment industry and the implications for suppliers. It concluded that there are five major factors currently impacting the industry: technology, customers, globalization, consolidation, and government.
According to NTEA executive director Jim Carney, the factor that will most likely get the most attention in 2008 is consolidation. “Tremendous consolidation is occurring and should continue to occur for the next several years,” he told Fleet Owner. “It will be focused on this year, by not only manufacturers but also customers, leading to a smaller and possibly more efficient industry.”
Carney added that while all five factors will change the industry in the near future, advancements in areas like technology and globalization will have a significant impact without intervention by fleets. “Technology and globalization will occur regardless of what we do. We’re not going to change them, because it’s going to change the industry without our influence,” he said. However, he said the NTEA will help fleets work with and adapt to the changes that take place.
Carney said that a tremendous explosion in technology has affected the way people work and the way they do business in all industries, with the availability of EDI, cell phones, and the internet speeding up the pace and improving efficiency. “We knew the industry was changing, but we weren’t aware of the extent,” he said.
However, as things become more advanced, they still remain the same. “One of the things that surprised us was the level of standardization in the industry,” Carney said. “As fleets get larger, they use more standard equipment. The reason to do that is to remove some of the complexity for the driver and lowers the prices.”
"The report does not predict the future,” Carney said. “Time alone will tell where the industry will be in five or 10 years. However, the report does state with certainty that the truck equipment industry is going through some major structural shifts that are and will likely continue creating major changes.”
The report is available at the NTEA website at a cost of $149 for NTEA members and $299 for non-members.