According to ACT Research Co. (ACT), freight volumes continue “to display signs of stability and growth, which along with other factors, is providing a solid lift in demand for commercial vehicles over the next couple of years.” More specifically, ACT said demand for both heavy-duty (Class 8) trucks and commercial trailers will “drive significant production gains for North American OEMs in the next two years.”
The latest release of the ACT North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook projects full-year 2010 production of Class 8 vehicles to end up at approximately 152,000 units. The research firm said that would be 29% gain over a “weak” 2009, but still well below normal replacement demand.
However, ACT forecasts that “demand will continue to ramp up over the next two years, with production in 2012 exceeding 300,000 units. Production of commercial trailers was extremely weak in 2009, but ACT said its latest forecast expects that sector to post annual growth rates in excess of 50% in both 2010 and 2011.
“Our forecasts for both 2010 and 2011 have stayed in a narrow range for the past 15 months as our model predicted a slow economic recovery and deferred investment would create a strong replacement cycle as we moved into 2011,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president & senior analyst.
“While headwinds make a full-blown economic recovery unlikely before 2012,” he added, “recent trends in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets point toward demand for new vehicles building throughout 2011 and 2012.”
ACT publishes new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market as well as the China market.