During the slump in automotive sales, one more facet of the general economic recession, there is talk about truck manufacturers opening new plants. It seems that pickup trucks have seen a major resurgence in popularity, coming out of a three year slump in sales in the case of Toyota. However, manufacturers are looking very carefully at the numbers before they decide to start constructing new plants and hiring a bunch of additional workers.
Today’s Numbers Versus Tomorrow’s Declines
While the demand for trucks is increasing, automotive manufacturers very clearly remember when the market for pickups was nearly cut in half in 2009. According to Toyota, if the current demand maintains its rise then they as a manufacturer won’t be able to keep up with it. Even with alterations to existing plants and assembly lines, they simply could not produce enough trucks to fulfill the need. Toyota, as well as other manufacturers, are looking down the barrel of a big, big comeback. But they’re a little gun shy after the massive losses in days gone by.
While it’s possible that trucks could maintain their demand for another year, or even two years, it’s possible that they won’t. If car manufacturers are going to build new plants, hire new teams of workers, and produce record numbers of vehicles, then they need to have some assurance that those vehicles are going to move. Otherwise it’s possible that a large amount of time and resources will be sunk into a project that, quite frankly, isn’t going to go anywhere at all. It’s impossible tell just what is or isn’t going to happen, and as such manufacturers are gambling on losing out on big gains, or losing out by building all of the necessary plants and trucks which then don’t have enough demand.
No Word Just Yet
There’s a lot of talk floating around, but there’s been no definite declaration of action. Manufacturers have been evaluating the costs of new plants and the individuals it would take to staff them, versus the costs of paying overtime and trying to meet demands with what they currently have invested. As the upswing continues, and more information on whether this is a temporary spike or a definite trend becomes available, it’s likely that more manufacturers will make hard decisions about their courses of action. However, those who act first will be the ones who stand to gain most.
Photo credit: (ph).otography / Foter.com / CC BY-ND