The Trailer Industry: A Look at Key Insights and Trends


This year’s NATDA Trailer Show was held on August 30 – 31 in Nashville, TN. Our team was onsite at Booth #2126 sharing some great insights with attendees. Plus, on August 30 at 10:15am, Jeff Jones, Sales Manager with Statistical Surveys, Inc., a Trader Interactive Brand, delivered a comprehensive presentation highlighting the current state of the market. Dealers learned about current trends driving the industry, with data on light duty trailer registration numbers, market fluctuations, regional variations, and more.

Didn’t make it to the event? Not to worry. To keep you up to speed, Equipment Trader and our sister site, Commercial Truck Trader, have compiled key insights and the top 3 takeaways from this NATDA presentation:

In order to stay competitive in today’s market, dealers in the trailer industry must take a close look at current data and observe what consumers are purchasing and in which markets. This is certainly crucial as the trailer industry continues to move ahead while recovering from the disruptions caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. Here are key insights and three considerations: 

Light Duty Trailer Registration Reached a Record High in 2020-2021

 The light duty trailer industry has seen a decline in registrations for the past two years due to the inflated demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, registrations dropped by 59%, while 2023 registrations are only down by 9.77% halfway through the year. This year’s registrations are also projected to be comparable to 2022. We’re already seeing 2023 Q2 search volume for trailers on Equipment Trader increase compared to the previous 2 quarters. Additionally, we’ve noted that total connections have been the highest in Q2 2023. This indicates that the market appears to be steadying as we return to normal times. 

 The 10 Most Populous States for Trailer Registrations: Texas, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, New York, Minnesota, and Ohio

 Regardless of whether your dealership is positioned in one of the leading states, it is essential to analyze the data specific to your region to identify what is in high demand in your area. Cities in the western region, such as Salt Lake City and Denver, have the greatest amount of horse trailer registrations, even though their respective states are not among the ten states with the highest registrations in total. Additionally, the Midwest is where we see BTAs with the highest number of livestock sales, and similarly coastal BTAs have higher boat trailers/ It’s important to pay close attention to any nuances that could be relevant to your selling territory.

 3 Valuable Takeaways to Keep in Mind


1. Utilize Data to Inform Your 2023 Strategy

 Following a period of high sales, the market is now settling and it’s important to take a step back and review the fundamentals of marketing to identify what is in demand in your area so you can gain market share. Taking a data-driven approach can provide insight into market trends and potential customers, allowing you to create a long-term plan tailored to the needs of your customer base. Additionally, you can adjust your dealership’s  strategy to stay competitive and maintain revenue as the market changes. 


2. Understand What Is Selling in YOUR Market

 It is essential to use this data to gain an understanding of what products or services are selling well in your market, so that you can craft a sales strategy that is tailored to your needs. By researching the trends in your market, you can best determine what customers are seeking and how to reach them. By staying aware of what is in demand in your local market, you can ensure that the items you put up for sale will be more likely to sell quickly, helping you move more inventory.


3. Light Duty Trailer Sales Expected to Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

 Data from 2022 to 2023 revealed that light duty truck sales decreased by 59%, and the first half of 2023 saw only a single unit decline across all categories of light duty trailers, with the exception of open trailers. This suggests that the market is recovering and trending back towards normal sales levels for light duty trailers. To make the best use of this data, think about what your customers are looking for as they will see growth at gradual increases in demand,  and incorporate that into your current approach.

The NATDA presentation serves as a guide for navigating the evolving landscape of the light duty trailer market. As the boom in demand levels off, trailer dealers can use this invaluable data to inform your strategies, comprehend local nuances, and anticipate trends. For more information on these findings, make sure to tune into the NATDA Presentation

Want to know how you can get more data insights into your sales strategy? Reach out to Equipment Trader, Commercial Truck Trader, or Statistical Surveys to find out more.

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