IHS Sees US Commercial Vehicle Growth

By Mike Brezonick26 January 2016

According to analysts at market research firm IHS Automotive, Englewood, Colo., the U.S commercial vehicle market is expected to grow slightly in 2016 to just over 500,000 newly registered units, up from projected registrations of 498,000 units in 2015.

In 2015, the U.S. ranked second in global retail sales of new trucks and was among the strongest gainers in unit terms, following only India, IHS said. According to the company, the U.S. retail market climbed to about 450,000 trucks in 2015 compared to about 407,000 retail sales in 2014, with gains in the medium-duty segments (Class 4 through 7) and heavy-duty segment (Class 8) alike.

In 2016, IHS said it forecasts heavy truck demand to begin weakening, following years of rising sales and weakening pressure to replace older vehicles, especially on-highway tractors. However, as U.S. job growth continues and the housing market picks up, gains in the medium-duty segments will largely offset the expected slip in Class 8 sales, for an overall flat market for Class 4 to 8 trucks, the company said.

IHS also forecast the commercial vehicle parts aftermarket to gain momentum in 2016, due to the growth in commercial vehicle new registrations since the market bottomed out in the 2009. By analyzing the vehicle population by age, vehicle type, vocation/application and GVW rating, IHS said it expects many general maintenance parts to have strong demand during 2016. These include diesel oil, fuel and air filters; shock absorbers; intake exhaust valves; and hydraulic brake pad sets.

At the same time, IHS analysts anticipate that demand for long life-cycle parts, such as diesel engine overall kits, will soften in the coming years as more 2009, 2010 and 2011 model year vehicles come in for their first major overhauls.

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