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Firm predicts strong global truck sales despite headwinds

Feb. 26, 2013

While sales of medium and heavy trucks are predicted to slow in Europe and only see moderate growth in North America, they are projected to increase significantly across of the rest of the world, according to global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan – especially in Africa, Indonesia, Turkey, and Russia.

Bharani Lakshminarasimhan, one of the firm’s industry analysts, said that Frost & Sullivan’s research revealed that many truck makers, especially North American-based OEMs, will not only continue to focus greater efforts on the growing markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China – the so called “BRIC” nations – but also expand within what the firm dubs the “Next-11” markets as well as Africa, while introducing groundbreaking technologies in their home markets.

Several “Next-11” markets Lakshminarasimhan said are likely to post nearly double-digit growth in new truck sales in 2013 include Indonesia and Turkey – which are forecast to double in size from 2012 to 2020 – with Russia in the BRIC group sustaining the fast growth witnessed in 2012. Mexico is also projected to experience an increase in medium and heavy truck sales over the long term, he added.

Overall, Frost & Sullivan projects that global medium and heavy truck demand will expand by 4.3% this year, resulting in sales of 2.8 million units in 2013 – with higher demand for medium-duty trucks relative to heavy-duty trucks.

This year, as well, Lakshminarasimhan noted that an expected 1 in 5 heavy-duty trucks sold globally will feature a “global platform” based lineage, with the global market for low-cost trucks expected to continue increases with a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 8.6% between 2009 and 2017.

Still, the global truck market is expected to continue facing strong headwinds, he cautioned, as Western Europe continues to experience considerable decline in new truck sales – with volatile energy prices keeping consumers in many parts of the world from buying new equipment.

Moreover, the lack of significant “critical mass” in terms of sales volumes – despite strong growth rates in many markets such as Africa – will challenge OEMs based in the so-called “TRIAD” markets (Europe, North America, and Japan) in terms of their investment strategies. However, Lakshminarasimhan pointed out that Chinese and Indian truck OEMs will continue thriving in many of these non-BRIC developing markets. 

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