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MacKay President Says Distribution is Biggest Change in Aftermarket

January 26, 2016

By Denise Rondini

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Stu MacKay, president of MacKay & Company Photo: MacKay & Company
Stu MacKay, president of MacKay & Company Photo: MacKay & Company

Stu MacKay, president of MacKay & Company, took time during the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue to compare today’s aftermarket to that of 1956. What a difference 60 years make.

New unit production for heavy-duty trucks (Class 7-8) reached 81,000 units in 1956, while medium-duty (Classes 4-6) topped out at 335,000. Trailer production for that year was 67,000 units.

Today the Class 8 universe is 3 million plus, the medium-duty universe  (Classes 6-7) is at 1.5 million units and the trailer universe is 4.8 million.

The value of the heavy-duty aftermarket was less than $400 million 60 years ago. Today’s aftermarket is valued at $30.1 billion.

And while there is a clear change in numbers, MacKay says the biggest change has been in the distribution network. For sixty years, there were little if any specialized heavy-duty independents.  Truck parts were an extension of the line for automotive warehouse distributors and jobbers. Today’s heavy-duty distributors are specialized, focused and international. 

MacKay shared with the audience feedback from suppliers on where they saw the truck and truck parts aftermarket for the future. The surveyed suppliers said they saw the on-highway OE market softening by 19% but they expect modest increases for the aftermarket in 2016 compared to 2015.

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