The recent announcement from General Motors informing the public of its plan to shut down five factories and lay off thousands of workers came as a bit of a surprise to many. The company—who has previously refused to address its weaknesses and has sat on the brink of bankruptcy—made the tough decision to take action and restructure for the long-term good of the company.
What does the restructure mean for the trucking industry? Since the change leads to a drastic cut in manufacturing in Michigan, carriers bringing raw materials to these plants, logistics firms, and auto haulers could be impacted.
Additionally, many have found that consumer preferences are shifting from cars to SUVs and light trucks. According to the Center for Automotive Research, the change in vehicle preferences led to sport-utility, crossover-utility, and light trucks accounting for two-thirds of all vehicles sold in the United States in 2017. Transport Topics stated that vehicle haulers have started experiencing these changes as larger vehicles take up more space and increase delivery costs.
GM plans to allocate its time and resources to new electric-powered vehicles which also pose a challenge for those hauling vehicles. The weight from the batteries could limit the number of vehicles that can be carried on trailers.
At the moment, it’s impossible to determine to what extent and when the trucking industry will be impacted. However, current challenges and evidence indicate disruption and changes to the industry in the future.