Companies in this industry manufacture medium and heavy-duty trucks, as well as buses. Major companies include Navistar International and PACCAR (both based in the US), along with China FAW Group and Dongfeng Motor (China), Daimler (Germany), Tata Motors (India), and Volvo (Sweden). The industry includes companies that manufacture and assemble complete vehicles and companies that supply vehicle chassis to assembly plants.
Heavy truck demand is driven by growth in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and retail sectors. Bus demand is driven by growth in the number of school-aged children and investment in public transportation systems. The profitability of individual companies depends on volume and sales of high-margin options. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing. Small manufacturers can compete by offering highly customized products. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 20 companies account for about 95% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Trucks and buses can be classified by gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), a measure of the total allowable weight of a vehicle when fully loaded. Generally medium and heavy-duty trucks include Class 4 (GVWR of 14,001 to 16,000 pounds), Class 5 (16,001 to 19,500 pounds), Class 6 (19,501 to 26,000 pounds), Class 7 (26,001 to 33,000 pounds), and Class 8 (GVWR of 33,000 pounds and over). Class 8 trucks account for about 60% of US industry revenue; class 4-7 trucks and buses each account for about 20%. Not included in this profile are light trucks (Classes 1-3), which range from small, light-duty pickup trucks designed primarily for the consumer market to commercial trucks with a GVWR up to 14,000 pounds.