In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research noted that expectations for the Class 8 and trailer markets anticipate a pullback in build rates, as market conditions continue to deteriorate. While less cliff-like, MD market indicators continue to support a modest correction into 2020.
The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the total US trailer market, used truck sales information, and a review of the US macro economy.
“Since early 2018, ACT’s forecasts have called for the up-cycle in the Class 8 market to run out of steam around the third quarter of 2019. Over the past couple of quarters, we have been beating the drum loudly so that our customers could be as well positioned as possible for when the downturn in industry activity inevitably occurred,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s Vice President. He continued, “Starting around six weeks ago, we began to see announcements of staffing reductions and plant shutdowns from OEMs, as well as from major tier-one suppliers. Anecdotes suggest the lower tiers on the supply chain have experienced production volumes cuts since early in September.”
Tam added, “The manufacturing sector is a critical source of freight generation. From raw materials to components to sub-assemblies and finally to the creation of complex machinery, there is much truck freight involved in the movement of small pieces to build large things.” He concluded, “The forward-looking Manufacturers’ New Orders, Nondefense Capital Goods (ex aircraft), a look at demand for freight-intensive durable goods, shows durable goods orders have stagnated in 2019 and have been negative year-over-year for the past two months. The lack of traction on the front side does not speak well for a near-term recovery in industrial activity.”
ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.
ACT’s 62nd seminar is scheduled for February 11-13, 2020, and will feature trucker, electrification, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of electrification on the market in the near future. A commercial vehicle database workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event.
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