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Pros and cons of booming parts sales

July 1, 2022
Demand for parts is high. What can sellers do to make the most of the booming business?

There was a news item recently that reported on Paccar’s strong parts business. Of course, everyone in the trucking industry knows that the age of the nation’s fleets combined with high truck utilization rates are behind the growth of parts sales. It is likely that Paccar is not the only truck maker seeing booming truck parts sales.

Laura Bloch, general manager, Paccar Parts, says the U.S. and Canadian retail sales opportunity for parts for Classes 6-8 vehicles is about $30 billion. Fleets are operating older trucks, so they are spending more money on replacement parts to keep those commercial vehicles operating as the industry continues to be plagued by long lead times for delivery of new ones.

That $30 billion is quite a big number and, depending on where you are in the supply chain, is either good news or bad news. For dealers and distributors, parts sales are indeed an opportunity, but fleets probably are not seeing the added expense as a plus. Older trucks needing more parts is an additional expense for fleets—and it can be a significant one. This is especially true when you include the fact that replacement parts are harder to find and can take longer to get, meaning more expensive downtime for fleets. There is also the fact that higher inflation is also increasing the cost of parts.

To take advantage of this opportunity, dealers and distributors must have parts on their shelves, but these days that is not as easy as it used to be. Dealers and distributors need to become savvy when it comes to both parts purchases and inventory. Remember, “You can’t sell from an empty shelf.” Dealers and distributors that want to capture more the market need to make sure they have those parts on hand, ready to ship and deliver.

Dealers and distributors can learn a lesson from fleets that have gone outside their normal channels to secure the parts they need. Rather than lose a sale, dealers and distributors should consider nontraditional parts sources, including turning to ecommerce sites to purchase parts needed to meet customer demand.

In addition, partnering with an ecommerce site that specializes in truck and trailer parts gives dealers and distributors access to more potential customers and is a way to help more fleets keep their trucks operating.

The truck parts business is booming and in some ways that is good for both parts sellers and fleets. Fleets get to keep their trucks on the road. Dealers and distributors get to keep money in their pockets.

David Seewack is the founder and CEO of FinditParts. Seewack is focused on transforming how heavy-duty truck and trailer parts are bought and sold. Founded in 2010, FinditParts is the No. 1 supplier of these parts online, with more than 10 million available from more than 1,800 manufacturers and customers in over 210 countries.

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