Study predicts technology-driven growth in NA heavy-duty

TORONTO — The aftermarket continues to witness greater truck complexity, a declining skilled worker population and distribution channel cost compression.

Frost & Sullivan’s latest Strategic Overview of the North American Heavy Duty Truck Aftermarket finds that demand for on-road freight hauling continues to rise along with the number of vehicles.

The number of class 3-8 commercial vehicles is rising at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2.0 percent and is forecast to top 11.4 million by 2014. This study examines the various challenges facing the heavy-duty repair and service industries and highlights where participants need to direct their focus to sustain market growth.

“The North American heavy-duty truck aftermarket is faced with a multitude of challenges and opportunities related to service, distribution, consolidation and advanced technology domains,” notes Frost & Sullivan consultant Mary-Beth Kellenberger.

“The future of the aftermarket will depend greatly on the agility shown by market participants to integrate advanced technologies that complement service and maintenance initiatives, reduce downtime, offer greater control on supply chain and distribution flows, and manage inventory.”

Equipment service (OES) channels are amassing
a greater share of the aftermarket revenues.

Technology drives revenue opportunities in this market and needs to be used extensively to meet the challenge posed by the technician shortage. It also accelerates the distribution flow and creates standardized operating procedures that increase efficiencies and provide insight into the entire supply chain. Therefore, technology helps to control supply chain variability.

“Moreover, original equipment service (OES) channels are amassing a greater share of the aftermarket revenues, driven by the increasing prevalence of proprietary technologies in commercial vehicles,” notes Toronto-based Frost & Sullivan program manager Sandeep Kar. “That being said, OES channels are struggling to keep up with demand, thereby offering opportunities for independents to partner with these channels to support their businesses.”

In addition, increasing distributed electronic content in commercial vehicles is forcing the need for new technology and equipment acquisitions by product and service providers, in turn inflating product and service costs, says Kar. “There is also a need to streamline the parts distribution structure to improve product and service flow.”

Meanwhile, notes the study, tremendous growth opportunities exist for companies that cater to the product and service needs of local markets and the smaller and medium sized fleets with a broad spectrum of vehicles.

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