Economic Impact

Quality is very important for those in commercial vehicle maintenance. Their perceptions of quality dictate the choices when their desired brand for a replacement part is not available. Brand preference and supplier loyalty both compete with realities such as price and availability, according to the 2007 HDMA Truck Maintenance in the USA, the recently-released study by the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA).

The 2007 HDMA Truck Maintenance, our annual analysis of truck maintenance trends, shows us the costs associated with equipment downtime that dominates the decision process. Brand preference and supplier loyalty are secondary to downtime.
Those who would elect to "wait for the part" are either very loyal to both brand and supplier, have so much slack that downtime is not a problem, or are not in a position to change brands or suppliers.

Construction fleets—especially when the building business is booming—were most concerned with down time and also the most loyal to a brand. For them, downtime costs can mount up rapidly as replacement parts are delayed by any bottleneck. The owner operator is the group that is most loyal to their preferred supplier.

 
Take next available brand
Get it from different supplier
Wait
for the part
Owner Operator
44.3%
32.5%
23.2%
Commercial Carrier
32.3%
46.1%
21.6%
Private Fleet
28.7%
48.0%
23.3%
Total
37.6%
39.6%
22.8%
Ag Mine Forest
20.7%
48.3%
31.0%
Production Distribution
33.7%
45.3%
20.9%
Construction
20.0%
60.0%
20.0%
0ther
25.0%
50.0%
25.0%

The study looks at brand preference and vendor loyalties by assuming that those willing to wait don't worry that much about downtime and removes them from the group. Responses of "go elsewhere" are a clear signal of brand importance while a response of "take another brand" is interpreted as the equivalent of "brand is less important than supplier."

Brand loyalty is more likely to be the deciding factor here than is the supplier, when downtime is more important because it is associated with quality. Because manufacturers and retailers tend to have newer fleets than other industries, more vehicles and components are under warranty, and the fleet manager may feel that OE-branded parts are required.

The 2007 Heavy Duty Truck Maintenance in the USA is designed to be a reliable tool for trend analysis regarding heavy duty truck user repair factors, heavy duty truck use, changes in buying patterns and service work performance. Members of HDMA and other market segment associations of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) can order additional copies for $49.95 and non-members can order for $395 each. Discounts are available for orders of five or more copies. Copies can be ordered at the HDMA Web site, www.hdma.org.

Fleet Type
More loyal to brand
More loyal to supplier
Owner Operator
42.4%
57.6%
For Hire Fleet
58.8%
41.2%
Ag Mine Forest
70.0%
30.0%
Prod Dist
57.4%
42.6%
Construction
75.0%
25.0%
0ther
66.7%
33.3%

As the result of a second major study, HDMA and its parent association, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), have released a landmark analysis of the important contributions the manufacturers of automotive and heavy duty parts make to the U.S. economy.

Prepared for MEMA by the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Michigan, the study reports that U.S. motor vehicle suppliers comprise the nation's leading manufacturing sector. The makers of car and heavy machinery parts account for 4.5 million jobs nationwide and provide more jobs than any other sector in seven states.

According to the study, motor vehicle suppliers directly employ 783,100 U.S. workers, and every supplier job creates another 4.7 jobs in the economy. These include an additional 1.97 million jobs in industries ranging from steel to plastics that support the supplier industry and 1.7 million jobs supported by the spending of direct and indirect employees.

Motor vehicle suppliers are the top employers in seven states—Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee—with nine more states reporting employment in excess of 15,000 jobs, including Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The study also showed that auto supplier jobs are good jobs, providing $252 billion in compensation, or more than $45,000 in average annual compensation per industry worker.

The study is available on MEMA's new government affairs Web site, www.automotivesupplier.org.

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