ECONOMIC WATCH: Work truck users have plans to expand: NTEA

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Almost half (48%) of the North American fleet executives surveyed by NTEA – an association representing the work truck industry – expect to expand in the coming year despite challenging economic conditions.

That’s up eight percentage points over a similar survey in 2019, and utility/telcom fleets appear the most poised for growth.

“The market demand for commercial vehicles remains robust,” said NTEA president and CEO Steve Carey, when releasing the results of the group’s eight annual fleet purchasing outlook.

“While there are some market constraints that continue, such as tight labor and equipment availability, our 2020 Fleet Purchasing outlook confirms demand for fleet vehicles continues to demonstrate purchasing resilience.”

Other referenced economic headwinds include capacity utilization limits, a slumping construction sector, tariffs, and political uncertainty. But those are somewhat offset by consumer confidence, good credit availability, manageable inflation, low interest rates, and local and state spending.

Thirty-two per cent of those who were surveyed expect to acquire more trucks in 2020 than 2019, and 38% said their average truck age does not exceed traditional replacement cycles. When it comes time to buy, 61% are changing spec’s to enhance fuel economy – marking a 16-percentage point increase over 2018.

Of those fleets planning to acquire trucks in 2020, 68% plan to procure Class 2 vehicles.

Responses were collected from fleets in Canada and the U.S.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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