LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Strong Class 8 truck demand is expected to continue through 2015, with production climbing 15-20% over 2014’s healthy volumes.
That was the rosy outlook from Joe McAleese, chairman, president and CEO of Bendix. However, he also predicted this year will mark the cyclical market peak, with a drop of 5-15% to follow in 2016.
“So we will not have a dramatic drop, just a little softening,” McAleese said during his press address at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
Every economic indicator Bendix looks to for hints of future Class 8 truck demand are currently in positive territory.
“The overall economic climate our fleets are operating in is a very good economic climate,” McAleese said.
The pullback McAleese projects for 2016 is based on the fact 2014 orders finished the year strong, putting pressure on truck production.
Despite his upbeat market outlook, McAleese said there are three things keeping him awake at night. These include: the worsening driver shortage, with no end in sight; the impact regulatory changes will have on fleet operating costs and the acquisition costs of new vehicles; and the slow pace of the industry’s acceptance of new safety technologies.
Still, McAleese concluded, “2014 was one heckuva year and 2015 is shaping up to be more of the same.”
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