UD Trucks Corp. (Ageo, Saitama; President, Yoshihiro Murakami) has unveiled the results of a survey on "the future of the truck industry," reflecting responses from 1,100 truck buyers, truck drivers and ordinary people, as a follow-up to its survey last October’s "truck driver survey." Over 80% of respondents indicated they still have high expectations of trucks, and that they expect trucks will continue to play a core role in the logistics industry. Ordinary people said they think the trucks of the future will show concern for the environment, with little or no emissions. Truck buyers and truck drivers had slightly different wishes, saying they expect to see a big leap in fuel efficiency, with trucks that do not break down easily, and that are easier to repair.
First of all, in response to the question, "What kind of truck would you like to drive / purchase / see running around town in the future," truck buyers said "trucks with much better fuel efficiency" (66%). Truck drivers said, "trucks that don't break down easily, and that are easy to repair when they do" (46%). Ordinary people said, "trucks with little or no exhaust emissions" (57%). The survey results show a diversity of social needs that the trucks of the future must address. Overall, the top answer (39% of all respondents) was "trucks that are very safe for pedestrians and other vehicles." Ordinary consumers wish to see trucks with environmental features, to make the living environment better. Truck buyers, truck drivers and others in the industry showed high expectations for fuel efficiency and uptime, to contribute to the success of their business.
Better drivability and after-service are key to truck selection
Next, truck buyers and truck drivers were asked about their priorities when deciding about the purchase of a truck or passenger vehicles. The top priorities for passenger vehicles were "good fuel efficiency" (59%), "exterior design" (57%), and "ease of driving" (49%), while for trucks the answers were "ease of driving" (67%), "good fuel efficiency" (63%), and "high level of service" (35%). Both "ease of driving" and "high level of service" were more important for trucks than for passenger vehicles. These responses show that truck drivers emphasize an optimal driving environment, while truck buyers prioritize efficiency and other factors that influence the success of their business.
After-service is important for maintaining high uptime & productivity
After-service holds the key to truck selection decisions, but what truck drivers want from service is a little bit different from what truck buyers want. While truck buyers want truck manufacturers to provide "consistent, high-quality service nationwide" (37%), truck drivers wish for "preventive maintenance, and fast repairs when repairs are needed" (38%). Despite these differences, both truck buyers and truck drivers see preventive maintenance and quick response to trouble as vital elements for the maximization of uptime, which has a significant impact on business productivity.
Efforts to improve fuel efficiency in the face of high expectations
Finally, both truck buyers and truck drivers were asked "what kinds of trucks (truck manufacturers) do you think could make a contribution to your business?" The top answer was "highly fuel-efficient trucks." This was followed by "How much do you expect truck fuel-efficiency to improve in the next 10 years?" To which nearly 80% of respondents said "50 to 100%." Fuel efficiency is a huge factor impacting the business of trucking companies.
Trucks remain at the core of logistics, concern for the environment and for drivers are key issues
Asked "as the logistics industry advances throughout the world, do you think trucks will continue to play a central role," 80% of respondents said yes. Of those who said no, 30% said the reason for their answer was that trucks are bad for the environment, while the next most common response was that trucks are difficult to drive, and cause a lot of stress for drivers. This hints at the conclusion that if trucks can reflect greater concern for the environment and provide a better working environment for drivers, drivers may become an even more important player within the logistics industry.
Since 1935, with our vision “to make the trucks that the world needs today”, UD Trucks has led the industry in market-leading technologies including the world’s first “urea SCR system” and Japan’s first 10 ton truck, the 6TW. UD Trucks has always been at the forefront of the most important issues facing the transportation industry, providing innovative technology solutions to support the transportation systems that form the foundation of our society.
The results of the latest survey point to several clear ideas about the needs and the future of the trucking industry, and match up nicely with the vision that UD Trucks has expressed around the concept of "smart logistics." At the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015 (October 29 (Thursday) - November 8 (Sunday)), UD Trucks unveiled its new concept, "Going the Extra Mile for Smart Logistics," to keep up with the ever-evolving world. And as part of UD’s effort to support the success of customer business, they look to: (1) further improvement in fuel efficiency and minimum environmental impact, (2) outstanding drivability and safety, and (3) high uptime and productivity.
<Summary of study>
• Research method: online study
• Research period: September 4 (Friday) - 8 (Tuesday), 2015
• Research subjects, sample size: three groups
1. Truck buyers (people playing a role in company purchases of large, medium and/or small trucks): n=284
2. Truck drivers (people whose job is to drive large, medium and/or small trucks): n=283
3. Ordinary people: male, female, at least 18 years of age n=533
Total sample: 1,100 people
is a total transport solution provider dedicated to delivering optimized total cost of ownership to its customers. It sells and serves light, medium and heavy duty trucks as well as special vehicles. UD Trucks was established in Japan in 1935 and became part of the Volvo Group in 2007. With its headquarters located in Ageo, Japan, UD Trucks supports sales and services in more than 60 countries through a worldwide network.