Heavy vehicle demand increases globally

Global demand for heavy commercial vehicles exceeded 1.7 million units during the first six months of the 2010 calendar year, an increase of nearly 50% from the comparable period in 2009, according to Polk. Heavy commercial vehicles are defined as vehicles designed and equipped to carry a payload greater than 3.5 tons.

While demand for heavy commercial vehicles in the United States and Canada is slowly improving over industry declines since 2007, demand for heavy commercial vehicles in the rest of the world, especially in China and India, is increasing at a significant rate.

“It is important for manufacturers and parts suppliers to have a good understanding of the demand for heavy commercial vehicles by country to identify trends, manage inventory, and provide the necessary resources within markets around the globe,” said Mark Seng, vice-president, sales and client services for aftermarket and commercial vehicle for Polk. “Approximately 88% of the demand for these vehicles is outside of the United States and Canada.”

The increase in demand for the first six months of 2010 versus the same period in 2009 is a result of strong heavy commercial vehicle demand in a variety of markets, including: India (+84%), China (+66%), and Russia (+65%). Brazil had an increase in demand for heavy commercial vehicles of 64% versus the same five-month period of 2009 (six-month data is unavailable).

Chinese manufacturers led the market with four of the top five brands in the first six months of 2010, in this order: Dongfeng Motor Group, followed by JAC Wanfa Ltd, First Auto Works (FAW), and China National Heavy Duty Truck Group (HOWO). The fifth manufacturer is India-based Tata. The first Western manufacturer to be included in the ranking was Mercedes-Benz at number six.

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