The US aftermarket for medium- and heavy-duty truck parts and components will increase 3.8% annually to $17.1 billion in 2013.
The rising complexity of medium- and heavy-duty trucks tends to support aftermarket demand, since these vehicles often require more expensive parts for repairs and maintenance. Rising emissions-control and safety standards are also expected to support demand increases, as older trucks are retrofitted to meet the new standards.
Aftermarket demand will be supported by the aging of the U.S. truck fleet, the rising number of trucks in use, and the expected increase in the average number of miles driven per truck as the country recovers from the economic downturn that began in late 2007.
These and other trends are presented in Medium- & Heavy-Duty Truck Aftermarket, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
The largest product category in the medium- and heavy-duty aftermarket will continue to be exterior and structural components, which primarily consist of tires (both new and retreaded). Tires are by far the most important aftermarket product, accounting for more than 40 percent of the total medium- and heavy-duty truck aftermarket in 2008.
Unlike tires, many of the other products in this segment are long lasting and are often replaced only following an accident. The mechanical-products segment, which includes engine hard parts and chassis, drivetrain and suspension parts and components, is also extremely important. However, except for wear parts such as brake pads and filters, growth will be limited by the long-service lives for many of these components. The smaller electrical and electronic components segment is expected to see the most rapid demand increases through 2013, supported by the ongoing rise in electronic content of the typical truck combined with stronger emissions-control regulations.
Outsourced service providers will continue to dominate the aftermarket for medium- and heavy-duty truck parts, led by tire dealers, who are the critical sales channel for the large tire segment. In addition, the increasing complexity of diagnosis and repair procedures on modern medium- and heavy-duty trucks is causing some outsourced service providers (i.e., franchised new truck dealers, branded component supplier service centers) to gain market share, since they typically have ready access to the latest diagnostic and repair technical data and special tools. Furthermore, a shortage of qualified technicians is putting a premium on skilled mechanics, making it more difficult for smaller operations to attract and retain capable personnel.