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The State of the Dealer Market

Lucas Deal December 20, 2013

One comes in the form of the stimulus created tax breaks created for purchasers set to expire at year end. These laws were among the factors that spurred new vehicle sales in October.

Ironically, vehicle performance is another concern. Even with an aging fleet population, the commercial vehicles on today’s roads are performing exceptionally well. Today’s trucking fleet is in good shape; and improved diagnostic technology and maintenance programs has created a national fleet capable of operating well for years to come.

The trucks on North American highways today were built to last — and they’re doing just that.

Leasing and rental

Opinions are mixed on these marketplaces moving forward.

Ely says he’s heard very little on each market’s growth opportunities in 2014. Althardt, on the other hand, says he can see the leasing market improving if freight utilization increases.

Fleets needing an extra few trucks to handle more work are much more likely to consider leasing and rental opportunities over vehicle purchases. And if those short-term needs become long-term needs, the leasing new trucks while looking to make used truck purchases remains a preferred method for some small- and medium-duty fleets.

Leasing and rental also provides dealers opportunities to reach new customer bases, adds John Walsh, Mack’s vice president of marketing.

The aging fleet population means higher risks of downtime, and business owners who cannot afford to maintain old trucks or buy new ones could become excellent leasing and rental customers.

“I think you’re going to see a continuation of high leasing because the price of new equipment is becoming so expensive,” Althardt says. “Small fleets don’t want to be locked in.

“With leasing they can afford that new unit at a reasonable price.”

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