FLORENCE, Ky. – Mark Purtilar, vp and general manager for ArvinMeritor’s aftermarket division, believes that the current glut of used trucks may have a silver lining – for providers of aftermarket components for commercial vehicles. "Demand for aftermarket parts has been dampened in recent years as we developed more durable truck components and extended service intervals," he said at a press conference at ArvinMertitor’s aftermarket headquarters. "However, as the residual value of used trucks has declined in the last year, fleets are trying to extend the useful life of their equipment, which means demand for aftermarket parts will pick up." Purtilar said the total worth of the commercial vehicle aftermarket hovers around $20 billion a year. ArvinMeritor believes its aftermarket line of 22 products – mostly in wheel-end and powertrain components – targets roughly $9 billion of that overall market. Bakhus Isaac, ArvinMeritor’s director of aftermarket marketing, added that while aftermarket sales should decline slightly in 2002, they should enjoy a "strong rebound" in 2003. "Parts consumption by carriers will rebound simply because they are holding on to their trucks longer," he said. "More trucks will be hitting that sweet spot, between six and 10 years old, when major components will need to be replaced." The key for aftermarket providers in the years ahead, however, will be to reduce the overall cost of aftermarket parts to carriers, added Purtilar, mainly by reducing the transactional costs associated with ordering and delivering such parts.