2020 Fleet Purchasing Outlook

NTEA releases eighth annual Fleet Purchasing Outlook report

Jan. 27, 2020
Findings include average truck age, replacement cycles; buying tendencies; predicted fleet size changes; purchasing factors

NTEA recently published its eighth annual Fleet Purchasing Outlook to showcase purchasing trends for the commercial vehicle community.

The insights provided by fleet professionals give the entire work truck industry perspective on anticipated purchasing intent and areas of greatest interest to fleet managers.

“The market demand for commercial vehicles remains robust,” said Steve Carey, NTEA president and CEO. “While there are some market constraints that continue, such as tight labor and equipment availability, our 2020 Fleet Purchasing outlook confirms demand for fleet vehicles continues to demonstrate purchasing resilience.”

NTEA gathers feedback from a variety of fleet professionals in mid- to high-level management, with authority to make decisions on truck acquisition and vehicle specification. A broad range of fleet sizes, vehicle weight classes and vocational truck applications are represented as participants span the US and Canada. With current survey results combined with data from previous studies, this report delivers year-to-year comparisons for benchmarking purposes and insight into the fleet perspective.

Report findings showcase:

  • Average truck age and replacement cycles
  • Macro-level buying tendencies
  • Predicted change in fleet size
  • Main factors driving purchase behavior
  • Interest in advanced truck technologies and alternative fuels
  • Approach to safety and automation
  • Importance of financial purchasing incentives

The publication acknowledges some challenging economic factors, including a tight labor market, capacity utilization limits, a decline in the construction sector, tariffs and political uncertainty in the US and around the world. On the bright side, there’s relatively high consumer confidence, good credit availability, manageable inflation, historically low interest rates, and increased state and local government spending. Together, these forces translate into continued opportunity.

Respondent feedback:

  • 32%—Anticipate acquiring more trucks in 2020 than in 2019
  • 38%—Average truck age does not exceed normal replacement cycle
  • 48%—Expect a fleet size expansion in the year ahead (an 8-percentage-point gain from 2019; utility/telecom application market appears most poised for growth)
  • 51%—Report current funding for planned acquisitions (an 11-percentage-point drop from 2019 levels; response from fleets planning to acquire trucks in 2020)
  • 61%—Making spec’ changes to enhance fuel economy and reduce fuel usage (a 16-percentage-point climb from 2018 levels)
  • 68%—Anticipate procuring Class 2 vehicles in 2020 (response from fleets planning to acquire trucks in 2020)

The 2020 Fleet Purchasing Outlook is a free report download available to NTEA members. Nonmembers can purchase the report for $199.

For additional detail and report access, visit ntea.com/fpo.

Market segmentation

Key regions:

  • Midwest (US)
  • Northeast (US)
  • South (US)
  • West (US)
  • Nationwide (US)
  • Canada
  • North America

Represented fleet types:

  • Construction
  • Delivery/cartage
  • Government/municipal
  • Utility/telecom
About the Author

TBB Staff