Commercial Vehicle Registrations Up for 2013, But Lower Than Forecast


New commercial vehicle registrations are up slightly this year, but are lower than originally forecasted, says Polk, a global automotive market intelligence firm based in Southfield that released its findings this week.

“While the outlook for the year started with a significant amount of optimism by most, it now appears that 2013 calendar year new registrations will be only slightly better than the 2012 calendar year,” says Gary Meteer, director of aftermarket and commercial vehicle solutions at Polk.

As of August, total new commercial vehicle registrations for medium- and heavy-duty trucks were 379,300 units, showing just a 2 percent year-over-year increase.

New registrations were up in all segments of the commercial vehicle industry with the exception of heavy-duty trucks weighing more than 30,000 pounds. Traditionally the volume leader in new commercial registrations, this sector showed an 8.5 percent year-over-year decrease.

With low sales, however, comes a robust service market, says Meteer.

“The low number of new vehicle sales is a positive for the service and parts business, since the primary purpose for the purchase of the majority of the vehicles (in this sector) is commerce,” Meeter says. “If the purchase of a new vehicle is not in the budget for a company, they need to maintain the up-time of their vehicles and keep them on the road. This need typically results in a regular maintenance program and the replacement of warn parts.”