ACT Research: Commercial Vehicle Markets Surprisingly Strong

According to ACT’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, while other areas of the economy continue to suffer, North American commercial vehicle market metrics are returning positive indicators.

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.

According to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, said, “While COVID has triggered the most severe recession since the Great Depression, economic activity has been on a solid recovery path since the April swoon.” He added, “Despite that upward movement, some economic sectors remain mired in deep recession. The story for the transportation sector broadly and for heavy duty trucks specifically can be summed in two words: surprisingly strong.”

Used 09.11.20

Vieth continued, “From the initial federal response to the pandemic to changes in consumer behavior stemming from the virus, there have been a number of factors that have contributed to significantly better freight outcomes.” He explained further, “Two numbers illustrate the shift from consumer spending on experiences to spending on the goods that represent freight demand. Consumer spending on durable goods in July was 10.5% higher than it was in January. Over the same period, spending on services fell 9.7%. On the supply side of the equation, considerable sidelined driver capacity has constrained the trucking industry’s ability to haul freight.” Vieth concluded, “The current imbalance between freight demand and driver supply pushed dry van spot freight rates to all-time highs in August, a key barometer for new equipment demand. Offsetting the good news is considerable parked heavy truck capacity that will return to the market, leading us to make the case for a steady, rather than robust, Class 8 market rebound into the first half of 2021.”

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

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