Quo vadis, commercial vehicle industry?
Jürgen Reers, Managing Partner, North America
At a top-level event for the commercial vehicle industry, Jürgen Reers presented a strategic assessment of the business
In 2009, the sales downturn coupled with the financial crisis drove the global commercial vehicle industry into severe distress. The US market saw a 35 percent decline in sales, while the European and Japanese markets both suffered around 50 percent decline in sales. As a result, both the profitability and business outlook for commercial vehicle and component manufacturers declined significantly.
Strategies for growth
As the impact of the crisis stabilizes, executives look to gain precious insights that can be translated into winning strategies for their businesses. "There is a great deal of consensus among the leaders in the truck industry that the most severe crisis since decades is bottoming out. Most participants are cautiously optimistic and expect a slow but steady recovery in the years to come," said Jürgen Reers, Partner based in our Detroit office, at this year's Heavy Duty Dialogue conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The conference, the premier annual event for the global commercial vehicle industry in North America and hosted by the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), brought together high-level executive experts and thought leaders who concentrated on the strategic aspect of the industry as it relates to component and vehicle manufacturers and distributors. Sharing the stage with Jürgen on January 18 were top executives from the industry, including Dennis Slagle, President and CEO of Volvo Mack NA, Robert G. Bohn, Chairman and CEO of Oshkosh Corporation, and Jerry Moyes, Chairman and CEO, of Swift Transportation.
Restructuring activities will continue
The speakers of the conference were organized in such as way as to address the commercial vehicle industry across a number of strategic topics, including geo-politics, emerging markets and economies, the impact of new trends in technology, and the financial and vehicle markets' short and long term forecasts.
As one of the first speakers, Jürgen presented a strategic assessment of the global commercial vehicle industry. The presentation opened with an examination of the factors that contributed to the commercial vehicle sales collapse, and the market trends that are forcing structural shifts within the global truck industry. This led into an assessment of the effects and growing opportunities resulting from a more globalized industry.
The presentation concluded with a series of strategic initiatives that businesses could implement to foster corporate flexibility and financial resilience to respond to market uncertainties, shifts in technology, and increased globalization. As Jürgen put it, "restructuring initiatives will continue, and the next stage in globalization and the need for new technologies present opportunities and challenges alike for the commercial vehicle industry."