Tough year for trailers
Feb 1, 2008 12:00 PM, BY PAUL SCHENCK
The Year 2007 was a disaster for many truck trailer manufacturers, at least compared to the outstanding production records set the previous year, according to the results of Trailer/Body Builders' annual survey of North America's largest manufacturers. [View Table]
The number of trailers produced by the 30 leading trailer companies was down 22% in 2007. Most of these Top 30 companies built fewer trailers than in 2006. But seven companies manufactured more units in 2007.
Tank trailer manufacturers set new production records in 2007 as the demand for petroleum products grew. Manufacturers of trailers hauling agricultural products also had a stable year at a high level, as the prices of corn, soybeans, and wheat soared. The largest trailer manufacturers, however, were hit with big reductions in the number of trailers produced. Dry freight vans, which account for almost 80% of all trailers built, were down sharply, followed by platform trailers.
The three largest trailer manufacturers were down in unit count an average of 21%. These three largest companies, who build almost half of the trailers counted in this report of the Top 30, remain the same names as the year before. Beyond that, however, practically every company changed position in the rankings from largest downward.
It is important to realize that this ranking of companies by the number of trailers manufactured does not necessarily reflect the relative success of the companies in terms of revenue realized, for the dollar value can be a different story depending on the complexity of design, type of construction, material and components used, and quality level.
The Top 10 manufacturers combined to build approximately 178,000 trailers, which represents about 83% of the almost 217,000 trailers in this report of the Top 30. Hundreds of other, more specialized, trailer manufacturers are responsible for the rest of the truck trailers manufactured in North America.
This list cannot be compared to other production totals of United States manufacturing plants, for two Canadian plants, Trailmobile Canada and MANAC, and one Mexican plant, Hyundai Translead, are in the Top 10. They are included in this report because a large part of their output is sold in the United States.
This Trailer/Body Builders survey is made by telephoning a member of the management team at each trailer manufacturing company. The survey is built on the voluntary contribution of trailer production information at each company. An estimate is made for the trailer manufacturer that chose not to participate. The survey is the work of Trailer/Body Builders editors and should not be confused with any other survey.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus