The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 affected industries throughout the world, and the trucking industry was not spared. Tractor sales in particular suffered a major blow, decreasing by about 8% year over year. This was exacerbated by the fact that overinflated sales numbers in 2019 were bound to come down, and that started even before the pandemic hit. Read on to show you the truck demand predicted for 2021.
2020 was the perfect storm of problems for truck manufacturers, as both used and new sales lulled throughout the year. However, there is optimism across the industry for 2021, and the early numbers indicate that truck sales – both new and used – could see some big jumps throughout the next 12 months.
Because many fleets lost business last year, the average number of miles put on trucks went down across the board. This means that there are more desirable trucks available and that they should sell for more than the industry would normally expect. With demand increasing in every industry, there will be a need to put trucks on the road, and fleet owners may be looking to expand.
As these fleet owners search for used truck options, they will come across many low-mile vehicles. Naturally, these will cost more than those with high mileage, which means the average selling point for a truck will be increased.
Sales for class 8 tractors saw a major setback in April of 2020, with fewer than 5,000 total orders – one of the worst months in recent history. But as certain parts of the economy opened up throughout the year, orders slowly began to creep up. In both November and December of 2020, the industry saw over 50,000 new truck orders.
These trends should continue into 2021, and many manufacturers are actually finding it difficult to keep up with demand. This is good news for the industry and suggests that there is much optimism throughout the world regarding vaccines and the reopening of the global economy.
All of this leads to good news for the commercial truck tire sector, which predictably saw a considerable lull in 2020. With fewer trucks on the road, tires did not suffer as much wear and tear, meaning they did not need to be replaced as frequently or in great numbers. This was a shocking departure from 2019, when commercial truck tires saw a big boost in numbers that aligned with the increase in truck sales.
With more new trucks being built and existing trucks once again entering the economy, tire sales should once again have a phenomenal year. Commercial tire service firms should also return to business as usual, providing relief for drivers who have any tire issues while on the road.
Overall, the economy seems to be opening back up, leading to major gains throughout the trucking industry. Tractor manufacturers, OEMs, and commercial tire firms will all be happy to return to higher numbers.