ACT Research: Class 8 Cyclicality Alive and Well, Including Regulatory Impacts

According to ACT’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, over the past decade, the EPA shifted its focus from the tailpipe to fuel economy. On January 6, the EPA released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), which promises the return of demand altering regulations that target tailpipe emissions. On top of normal cyclicality is the expectation that the CARB and EPA ANPRs will ultimately transition into [potentially expensive] demand-swinging regulations in the coming decade.

The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next 1-5 years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan accordingly for what is to come. The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets, as well as takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production, and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast. Information included in this report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.

OUTLOOK PR Graph 1-10-20“As illustrated in the Class 8 net order chart, even without regulatory avoidance, the feast-and-famine nature of the business is alive and well,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s Vice President. He elaborated, “Given that freight is by nature cyclical, it goes to follow that carrier profitability is impacted in turn, and history shows a strong relationship between truckers making money and buying equipment.” Tam added, “That relationship hinges on taxes and opportunity: At freight cycle peaks, truckers spin-off much free cash, so willingness and ability to buy rise.”

animation - 2020-01-10T163623.716ACT 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

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.

Click below to:

Access seminar information.

Access information about ACT’s NA Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, click here.

Access information about other ACT Research products and services can be found by clicking here.

Access December's N.A. CV OUTLOOK Press Release.

Access In the News Page.

Back to Blog

Related Articles

ACT Research: Main Risk to N.A. CV Market Forecasts Remains the Trade War with China; Key Driver of Growth Is US Consumer

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK,...

ACT Research: COVID-19 and Regulations Impacting CV Engine Demand

According to the recently released N.A. Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK, published by...

ACT Research: COVID-19 and Regulations Continue to Influence CV Engine Demand

According to the recently released N.A. Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK, published by...