Our teams field calls every week from business owners, contractors, and industry leaders looking for – or sharing – insight on the transportation industry. That includes everything from light duty half-tons to the heaviest over-the-road tractors. This information not only allows us to better understand how we’ll best serve our existing clients, it gives us a TON of insight into what’s changing – and where – in the upfitting and transportation industry.
So with that being said, what IS changing?
What’s going on with the economy for us in 2022?
Well, for starters, the current “drought” that’s affecting new vehicles isn’t stopping anytime soon. Right now, the projections are the semiconductor chip shortage might actually be sorted by the third quarter of this year, but if you or your company are looking to add to the fleet this year, you’re likely going to wait, and you’ll pay a premium.
That’s just the simple truth, and no amount of pretty words from politicians or “experts’ can change that.
On the other hand, as we’ve said for nearly a year, smart companies have simply committed to keeping older vehicles in their fleets in service a bit longer. Other companies that would have purchased new in the past are now buying used trucks and vans, upfitting them to handle the jobs, and putting them to work in the fleet. The good news is, because these trucks and vans are still “late models,” upfitting them is still no challenge, and oftentimes, the price difference is more than enough to allow businesses to completely upfit the truck or van and still spend less than a comparable new vehicle.
Without a doubt, the most frustrating challenge for all of us is simply supply.
When the pandemic began, and so much production shut down or “pivoted” to alternate items, we fully expected there would be supply problems down the road. Absolutely no one foresaw what we’re encountering now!
The good news, though, is our reputation has allowed us to source anything our customers have needed, no matter what. It’s worth noting that, as of this writing, we’ve actually been able to help companies find the trucks and vans they needed to keep growing. (Ask us how we can help you do that right here.)
The truth is, light and medium duty trucks and vans aren’t the primary focus of vehicle production right now. Sure, heavy, over the road units are still rolling off the assembly line, and will continue to, but all those support vehicles that really keep a fleet or a business moving – the F250, the Ram Diesel dually, and the Express cargo vans? They’re harder to finance and don’t have the profit margins that a big family SUV or crossover has.
If you make your living in a work truck or van, your best bet for 2022 is to keep your maintenance up to date and plan any fleet expansions on used late model vehicles.
On the other hand, industry experts are projecting that production totals will get their second wind in the second half of the year, and that should mean reliable supplies of new trucks and vans. How much of that you choose to believe and how “good” those projections are is the gamble you’re choosing to take.
No matter where you find yourself in growing your company this year, Expertec is always here to help you determine the best route to find and upfit your truck or van. From tracking down hard-to-find fleet vehicles to creating a custom upfitted solution for your company, our team has you covered.