Commercial Motor Vehicle Consulting’s (CMCV) Parts Aftermarket Sales Leading Indicator (PLI) decreased 0.5% in March, following a decrease of 0.8% in February, according to the organization. PLI decreased for the seventh consecutive month and the March Index was 1.1% lower than March 2022. In spite of the downward trend, the organization notes that PLI remains at a relatively high level, so is signaling slowing growth in parts aftermarket sales in the coming months.
According to Chris Brady, president, CMVC, “U.S. Class 8 fleet capacity utilization has been trending downward since July 2022, so the rate at which the truck population is depreciating is slowing causing the growth rate of parts aftermarket sales to gradually decelerate. Fleet capacity utilization remains within a normal range, as fleet capacity utilization began its descent from evaluated levels, so the truck population is depreciating at normal rates and positive vehicle demographic factors are supporting higher parts aftermarket sales.
“Parts manufacturers’ sales are growing at faster growth rates than parts aftermarket retail sales due to inventory investment within the channels of distribution, but parts manufacturers’ sales will slowly decelerate to the growth rate of parts aftermarket retail sales as parts inventories approach equilibrium. Moving forward, the risks to the parts aftermarket sales outlook are on the downside, as fleet capacity utilization risks trending downward to low levels that would result in a substantial slowdown in the rate at which the truck population is depreciating, which would more than offset positive vehicle demographic factors resulting in lower parts aftermarket sales.”