Fleet Management

Specialty Truck Markets Struggle to Sustain Growth

November 19, 2001

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The current U.S. economic slowdown will restrain demand for some medium- and heavy-duty specialty trucks, but trucks that serve the basic needs of municipalities will help prevent significant loss of market share.

End-users in construction, mining, and logging are tightening their budgets, reducing capital expenditures, and restricting orders for trucks. However, the need for garbage, beverage, utility, and emergency vehicles will keep overall demand strong.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, North American Medium- and Heavy-Duty Specialty Truck Markets, reveals that this industry generated revenues totaling $10.21 billion in 2000. Although the economic slowdown could restrain revenues through 2001, markets for chassis, construction body, urban service body, distribution body, off-road, and other trucks will rebound.
"Some segments of the specialty truck market are not immediately affected by the cycles of the economy," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Alfonso Corredor. "The current downturn of the North American economy has not yet reduced demand for urban service trucks like refuse collectors, sweepers, sewer cleaners, firefighters, and ambulances."
During fierce economic times the rudimentary requirements of consumers are the last to be affected. During the current downturn, consumption and consumer needs have not experienced dramatic change.
"A large portion of sales to municipalities and budgets are still strong," says Corredor. "National and local governments are still pouring a substantial amount of resources for replacement and increases of urban equipment."
Segments that will be most impacted are those that meet construction needs. Dumps, mixers, and cranes could see lower demand in the short term. Nevertheless, all segments are expected to recover within a few years.

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