Medium-duty truck production constrained

Oct. 20, 2010
While medium-duty truck demand has been slowly growing for several months, a strong rebound in North American production of medium-duty trucks is being constrained by continuing weakness in the housing and construction sector

While medium-duty truck demand has been slowly growing for several months, a strong rebound in North American production of medium-duty trucks is being constrained by continuing weakness in the housing and construction sector. The heavy-duty sector, primarily driven by freight hauling demand, is still poised for strong production growth in 2011, according to ACT Research Co.

In the latest release of the ACT North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, ACT projects full-year production of medium-duty (Class 5-7) vehicles will be up 12% compared with 2009 and accelerate only to 18% year-over-year growth in 2011. The 2011 medium-duty forecast was reduced by approximately 10%. The heavy-duty (Class 8) forecast stayed virtually unchanged and calls for year-over-year production growth of 26% in 2010 and an additional 57% in 2011.

“In aggregate, the medium-duty sector has had four months of improving fundamentals,” said Steve Tam, vice president-commercial vehicle sector with ACT. “However, when segregated, consistent but slow growth in the truck segment has been masked by short-term surges in either buses or recreational vehicles. With the housing recovery expected to be very protracted, the truck segment will be slow to reach pre-recession levels.”

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