2014 is shaping up to be a great year for truck equipment manufacturers. Sales through October are running 20% higher than their 2013 levels. It’s a banner year that continues to pick-up steam. 2015 is looking even stronger, with forecasts suggesting it will be the 3rd strongest year ever for truck sales. There are several factors driving this market. Higher fuel efficiency is top among them.
This point was brought home recently by the lead transportation analyst for investment firm Stifel, who noted that “the superior fuel efficiency of the newer engines” was a key in getting fleets to buy new trucks now.
The CEO of Daimler Trucks, the leading producer of class 8 trucks for the U.S. market, acknowledged recently that their most efficient engine and transmission combination was “already sold out for 2014” and that the “demand is beyond their expectations.”
It’s not just Daimler that is having a good year.
- Cummins posted higher-than-expected quarterly profits recently “lifted by strong sales of its vehicle components in North America.”
- PACCAR announced strong quarterly earnings that, according to CEO Ron Armstrong, “reflect the benefits of strong truck sales in the U.S.”
- Navistar also “had a good month in October,” according to its CEO Troy Clarke. He noted that the demand for new trucks is being driven by the fact that “new trucks have lower operating costs” –which is of course due to increased fuel efficiency.
2014 is a banner year for truck sales; and 2014 trucks are the most efficient ever. 2014 trucks are the most efficient ever because of smart, well-design federal policy. This is the first year of the 2014-2018 heavy truck efficiency standards that will:
- reduce CO2 emissions by about 270million metric tons,
- save about 530 million barrels of oil over the life of vehicles built between 2014 – 2018,
- provide $49 billion in net program benefits.
The 2014-2018 heavy truck fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas program demonstrates that climate policy benefits businesses, our economy, and human health, while also cutting harmful climate pollution.
Or, as Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America noted, these standards “are very good examples of regulations that work well.”
In its first year of existence, the 2014-2018 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas program is boosting sales for manufacturers, reducing operating costs for fleets, and cutting climate pollution for all of us. It is clear that well-designed federal standards can foster the innovation necessary to bring more efficient and lower emitting trucks to market. That is very good news, because we have an opportunity to further improve and strengthen these standards – creating more economic and environmental benefits in the process. For this, we all can be thankful.