Market Trends: Increased Demand & Rail Delays Created Upfitter Logjam in 2015

As part of their annual Order-to-Delivery survey, Automotive Fleet examined the increasing pressure facing upfitters in 2015. The increasing demand and growth within the commercial truck and van segments – particularly among utilities and service industries – increased the volume of fleet vehicles that went to upfitters in 2015, which resulted in capacity constraints. The challenge of limited rail car space only exacerbated the problem.

Despite these challenges, however, the upfitter industry was able to work its way through this morass noted Partha Ghosh, director of supply chain management at ARI. “Upfitters were also challenged by increased demand, and like the OEMs, they too had capacity concerns in certain situations. Fortunately, most of them were able to adequately address those concerns. In addition, while there are always generally isolated cases of damages that occur during upfit, or component supply constraints that impact specific projects or vehicles, there were no clear patterns or themes that impacted OTD in a broader sense from an upfitter perspective.”

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