Will fleets and owner/operators renew their interest in new iron in 2009, perhaps boosting Class 8 truck sales near to previous record levels? Next year will be their last opportunity to squeeze in an...
Will fleets and owner/operators renew their interest in new iron in 2009, perhaps boosting Class 8 truck sales near to previous record levels? Next year will be their last opportunity to squeeze in another pre-buy prior to the new engine emissions standards coming in 2010. Our recently completed research shows that 41% of owner/operators plan to buy a new truck over the next 12 months (to July 2009) while 59% have no purchases planned. In comparison, 64% of owner/ operators had no truck purchases planned during the same period last year. More than three quarters (77%) of fleets intend on buying new iron over the next 12 months (to July 2009). The majority of carriers (44%) intend on replacing up to 10% of their fleet while a fifth are looking to replace up to 20% of their fleet. Less than a quarter (23%) have no purchases planned over the next 12 months. That is an improvement over the previous year but not by a great deal. Last year 43% of carriers were looking to replace up to 10% of their fleet while 21% were planning to replace up to 20% of their fleet. Twenty nine percent had no purchases planned.
Another way to gauge potential truck sales for next year is to examine how many trucks are due for replacement.
Canadian trucks carry heavier weights and travel longer distances so we prefer to employ a seven-year replacement cycle for our projections rather than the nine-year replacement cycle used by analysts in the US. (It should be noted that a truck may go through more than one owner during those seven years.) Based on the seven-year replacement cycle there are 18,361 trucks up for renewal in 2009, 20,289 in 2010 and 22,490 in 2011. Question is how many of the replacements scheduled for 2010 and 2011 will be pulled into 2009 as part of another pre-buy. During the previous two pre-buys about a third of motor carriers and up to a fifth of owner/operators opted for a pre-buy strategy.
However, the low base number of trucks due for replacement in 2009, combined with lingering concerns over the economy will prevent 2009 sales from getting anywhere close to the record set in 2006.n
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