What's really coming for 2024? Here's a roundup of what we've posted on the months ahead

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Updated Feb 22, 2024
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Over the last six weeks, Trucks, Parts, Service has published a wide range of articles addressing the profitability of dealer and aftermarket operations in 2023 and projections for both channels in 2024. For those who have missed some (or all) of these stories, or would simply like an easy link to share with colleagues when discussing business planning for 2024 and beyond, we have compiled all of these recent features into the helpful list below. 

While this list is under no circumstances an exhaustive cataloging of every dealer and aftermarket industry report available over the last two months, it does include everything posted on TPS.

We start with our industry status report, which was published in January and featured segments on the dealer, aftermarket and supplier channels. 

[Download our state of the industry survey results!]

Our dealer piece touched on the year that was in 2023, noting how many dealers were expecting to close their books with mostly positive sales totals but nothing close to the record-setting year over year success in 2021 and 2022. 

In the aftermarket, the story was similar. Businesses were closing a steady, solid year and were expecting 2024 to be similar, with grow opportunities in certain markets and product areas but not across the entire channel.

The supplier segment was equally muted in its 2024 predictions, but sources within that article were bullish about the improvements made to the supply chain in 2023 that should eliminate the parts availability and production issues that have impacted the industry in recent prior years.

Beyond our industry report, TPS also was on hand at a busy Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue (HDAD) where multiple speakers shared their insights on the year ahead. 

Mack Trucks' Jonathan Randall kicked off the event with a bullish estimation for truck sales in the year ahead. Randall's comments were more optimistic than what had previously been anticipated for the industry before HDAD. Randall's good vibes were replicated a few weeks later, when ACT Research updated its forecast to be stronger for the industry and more in line with Randall's thoughts. 

TPS also has kept up on the freight market, which industry data houses and the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) report continues scuffling after a less than stellar 2023. ATA reported in January that tonnage had hit a three-year low in December 2023. FTR Intelligence also had a webinar in February where its experts reported the freight market was entering the new year near the bottom of its business cycle

And HDAD had other great forecast discussions too.

A supplier panel provided a real-world view of the industry and the supply chain — again stating 2024 is shaping up to be a steady but unremarkable year. The team at MacKay & Company shared their assessment that aftermarket parts revenues should rise by around 4% in 2024, even if the general economy isn't as strong. 

We also published our most recent TPS MarketPulse survey earlier this month, with fourth quarter and 2023 business results and projections for the years ahead. Responders to our survey again tracked with other articles published to date, with final analysis for last year being mostly negative and most expecting little year over year improvements for the year ahead. 

Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't note the American Truck Dealers (ATD) final sales totals for 2023, and early results for truck and trailer sales in 2024. ATD's results were more positive than most 2023 business recaps as truck sales surpassed 500,000 units for the first time in four years.

Truck sales and orders have started 2024 on the right foot too, up substantially year over year, while trailer orders continue to trend down, ACT Research and FTR report. And the used truck market tracks more with the trailer space. J.D. Power reported the auction market is seeing volumes rise, possibly indicating dealers are ready to offload costly inventory and reenter the market at current prices. The retail market is still down and is yet to begin a bounce back. 

Be sure to stay tuned to TPS as we continue to publish more articles offering analysis on current and future business conditions. 

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