The American Truck Dealers led a coalition of trucking industry executives Wednesday, Sept. 1, to meet with senior members of the Obama administration and to discuss the state of the industry, the impact of higher costs resulting from new emissions mandates and options to boost medium- and heavy-duty truck sales.
The meeting – held at the U.S. Department of Treasury with Ron Bloom, Obama’s senior counsel for manufacturing policy; Kyle Treadway, ATD chairman; Dick Witcher, ATD vice chairman; and Phil Brady, NADA/ATD president – laid out the economic and environmental challenges facing truck purchasers, which has resulted in depressed sales of more than 60 percent compared to four years ago. Other stakeholders at the meeting included truck and engine manufacturers, drivers, lease and rental companies, equipment manufacturers and fleet managers.
“The Obama administration is currently considering additional ways to stimulate the economy, and this meeting created a dialogue on how the trucking industry, which employs 7.3 million Americans, can play an important role in the nation’s economic recovery and put people back to work,” says Treadway, president/CEO of Kenworth Sales Company in Salt Lake City.
Wednesday’s invitation was extended by the White House after ATD, trade associations and truck companies sent a letter to President Obama stressing the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy as well as the fallout which has occurred in truck sales and manufacturing over the past year.
In both the letter and the meeting, the trucking coalition urged the administration to consider ways to help stimulate the commercial truck industry, including a proposed temporary 10 percent investment tax credit or “green voucher” toward the purchase of any 2010 emissions-certified trucks and other incentives.
“Due to the 2010 nitrogen-oxide requirements adding almost 10 percent to the cost of a new truck on top of the strained economy, further stimulus is needed to boost the new truck market,” Treadway says. “This would help strengthen our manufacturing base, create jobs and further reduce greenhouse gasses.”
In addition to the tax credit proposal, the coalition highlighted several issues associated with selling trucks in the current marketplace, as well as options to increase commercial truck exports from the United States.
“Our efforts to educate policymakers will continue on Capitol Hill, where we will encourage members of Congress to work with the White House to consider incentives that will sell more efficient trucks and enhance the likelihood of a sustained recovery,” Treadway says.