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Growth Strategies to Aid the Market Rebound from Last Year’s Lows Due to COVID-19, with LCV and M&HD Truck Segments Expected to Grow by 10.3% and 5.9%, Respectively, this Year
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The trucking industry was not immune to the disruptions in supply chain and falling trade that the global COVId-19 pandemic created. Major markets, such as North America and Latin America, were badly hit, while Europe and India suffered the steepest sales declines. China was the only region to register positive growth across both LCV and M&HD Truck segments in 2020. Being the first major region to be hit by COVID-19, China bounced back the quickest, by Q2 2020, as it was able to largely control the spread of the disease through strict measures. Besides, the strong support from the government helped the Chinese trucking industry achieve unusually high growth.The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited a lot of trends that were already taking shape slowly before the pandemic hit. eCommerce and last-mile delivery are expected to grow exponentially as people travel less and work from home more, at least in the short-to-medium term. This is expected to create higher demand for last-mile delivery vehicles, such as panel vans and box trucks. 2020 saw both local government and OEMs take several measures to not only promote but also expedite the adoption of cleaner, greener, and zero-emission powertrains. For instance, the California state’s Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) regulation which was passed last year mandated a percentage of zero-emission trucks be sold from 2024, gradually increasing to 100% by 2045. 2021 will see a slew of electric vehicle launches, even that of those delayed by the pandemic, which will lead this decade into an electric future. While major European OEMs, such as Renault-Nissan, Daimler, Volvo, and DAF, are expected to add on to their existing EV portfolio, American OEMs, such as Ford, GM, Tesla, Rivian, Lordstown, and Workhorse, are expected to introduce their EV models this year. the adoption of alternative powertrains, especially hydrogen-fuel cells, which will in turn spur the growth of hydrogen infrastructure and the entire hydrogen-fuel-based mobility ecosystem in Europe, China, and North America.Though, plummeting demand pushed oil prices into the negative territory in 2020, oil prices are set to rise in 2021 and expedite the adoption of alternative powertrains, especially hydrogen-fuel cells, which will in turn spur the growth of hydrogen infrastructure and the entire hydrogen-fuel-based mobility ecosystem in Europe, China, and North America.The trucking industry is expected to undergo significant transformation in the coming years; this has already pushed OEMs, suppliers, and start-ups in the ecosystem to collaborate with each other and develop future technologies. TRATON and Navistar have joined hands at an overall strategic level; Daimler-Volvo and GM-Nikola have come together to develop fuel-cell trucking; Waymo-Daimler and TuSimple-ZF have partnered to develop autonomous trucking. Such collaborations are vital to bringing out greener trucks that are not only technologically feasible but also financially viable.
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