ArvinMeritor president sees slow ascent to recovery for heavy-duty truck market

Tom Gosnell, president of the Commercial Vehicle Systems business group for ArvinMeritor Inc, has reported that the truck market is seeing a slow, but steady increase.

He said market data suggests a stronger economy, and specifically, a stronger truck market moving out of the third quarter of 2003 and beyond. The remarks were made at an ArvinMeritor media session during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville KY.

“We have seen a rise in fleet utilization, an improved used truck situation, an extended fleet age, and a monthly strengthening of Class 8 orders since July of 2002,” said Gosnell. “Although we are reluctant to say that the industry is rebounding, it seems that significant factors are pointing in that direction. Our forecast is for a steady gain in global market volumes between 2003 and 2007.”

According to data from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), truck tonnage was up 8% in December 2002 from the previous year. In addition, fleet utilization increased by 8% over the same period.

North American (United States, Canada, and Mexico) production volumes for the Class 8 truck market in 2002 were 177,500 units. ArvinMeritor's current forecast for 2003 is 170,000, climbing to 230,000 in 2004. Medium-duty Classes 5-7 production volumes in 2002 were 136,900, and are projected to be at 147,000 in 2003 and 181,000 in 2004.

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