According to the recent IHS Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle Industry Forecast Report, the U.S commercial vehicle market is expected to grow slightly in 2016, to just over 500,000 newly registered units, up from projected registrations of 498,000 units last year.
IHS Automotive, a division of global consulting firm IHS, said its prediction is based on “pre-release” truck-market data from the upcoming for first quarter 2016, as well as analysis of other commercial vehicle segments, including buses.
Andrej Divis, the firm’s director of global heavy-truck forecasting, noted in a statement that while Class 8 sales are expected to weaken this year, gains in the medium-duty segment will largely offset that “slip,” for an overall flat market for Class 4-8 trucks.
Other data from IHS Automotive’s study includes:
- The U.S. ranked number two in global new-truck retail sales in 2015, and was among 2015’s strongest gainers in unit terms, following only India.
- Compared to just shy of 407,000 retail sales in 2014, the U.S. retail market climbed to some 450,000 trucks in 2015, with gains in the medium-duty (Class 4-7) and heavy-duty segment (Class 8) alike.
- U.S. medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales finished 2015 at second-highest level in 10 years.
- Increase in demand is expected for some “non-truck” vehicle classes, including buses and motor homes, in 2016.
- With more than 12.6 million commercial vehicles on the road in the U.S., the commercial vehicle parts aftermarket is predicted to “gain momentum” this year, the firm noted.
- At the same time, IHS analysts anticipate demand for long life-cycle parts, such as diesel engine overall kits, will soften in the coming years as more model years 2009, 2010 and 2011 vehicles come in for their first major overhauls.
- Some key components demand expected over the next 12 months are: diesel oil filters (32 million), diesel fuel filters (19 million), diesel air filters (10 million), shock absorbers (4 million), intake exhaust valves (7 million), hydraulic brake pad sets (3 million).
- Certain “longer life-cycle” parts will experience heightened demand over the next year as well: In-frame overall kits (259,000), replacement engines (13,000), cylinder heads (50,000), fuel pumps (400,000) and engine control modules (348,000).
- Based on current vehicle in operations statistics for the U.S., about 83% of Class 3-8 vehicles are operated by fleets operating less than 500 vehicles.
- Some 48% of the Class 3-8 vehicle population is operated by fleets encompassing two to 250 vehicles will repair their equipment within their local service area, with parts provided from suppliers in those areas.