ACT Research: CV Industry Plagued by Rock-Solid Demand and Range-Bound Supply Chain

In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that the setup for the entire commercial vehicle industry remains unchanged. Despite rock-solid demand metrics across the spectrum of medium and heavy-duty vehicle types, industry capacity remains range-bound across a broad front of supply-chain constraints.

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.

CV DD Graphic 10-25-21Regarding demand metrics, Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, noted, “Demand-side activities remain at as-good-as-it-gets levels. Front-side industry metrics remain hot, even as Class 8 and trailer orders have moderated in recent months due to heavily-filled and oversubscribed 2021 backlogs, just opening 2022 order boards, difficulties establishing pricing on spiraling commodity prices, and production uncertainty relating to parts availability.” He added, “To illustrate secondary market strength, we can look at just about any used vehicle pricing chart, but one example is the three-year 300k-400k mile tractor sliver of the market, whose constituent average broke through $100,000 for the first time ever in August.”

Used 10.26.21About the supply side, Vieth commented, “Given all they touch, semiconductors remain the primary culprit in automotive supply-chain woes. While they have become a generic reference to the supply-chain’s shortcomings, in actuality there are scores of parts that continue to be impacted by the pandemic, by the lingering impact of steel tariffs which have domestic steel prices well above other global benchmarks, and the February storm that incapacitated Texas and shut down swathes of the US plastics industry for two-plus quarters. Aluminum extrusions are a challenge, wire is hard to find, and tires have been mentioned since day one of the new cycle. And, reiterating, like the supply-chains themselves, the issues are not only domestic and not only commercial vehicle.” He concluded, “Even as some companies wrestle with insufficient capacity, other companies who make ‘dumb’ products are swimming in inventory, having gotten their line rates to speed, only to find the rest of the industry could not deliver. Some suppliers are contemplating layoffs, as they swim in inventories while waiting for the rest of the industry to engage.”

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 66th Seminar is scheduled for February 22-24, 2022. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of autonomous and powertrain technologies in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 66 will feature key industry leaders such as Bryan Bezold of Ford, Matt Hardin from Transplace, and Robert Brown of TuSimple. For information about OUTLOOK Seminar 66, as it becomes available, click here

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020-2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, was published on March 31, 2021, after months of extensive research. Utilizing industry expertise and analysis, as well as the input from a comprehensive list of key industry study participants, ACT Research has developed a critical guide for battery electric and fuel cell electric unit build and sales forecasts over the next two decades. With coverage of Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, ACT has identified 14 market subsegments and more than 20 application types; this one-of-a-kind report is a must-have for those investing or investigating electric power opportunities. To learn more or to purchase this report, click here

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