According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, expectations for the Class 8 and trailer markets anticipate an immanent pullback in build rates, as market conditions continue to deteriorate.
“With no substantive changes to the economics underlying the outlook and data supporting our forecasts still mounting, we maintain our position that the industry should be preparing for down weeks starting as early as Q4,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He elaborated, “However, depending on the exact timing of the rollover, there may be some incremental high-side in our near-term outlook.”
Regarding heavy vehicle demand, Vieth noted, “Large new inventories and deteriorating freight and rate conditions suggest erring on the side of caution remains the right call: New equipment buying truckers have only recently started to come to terms with the disequilibrium in truck supply and freight demand.” He added, “When the change comes, it is likely to come fast, and we reiterate what we’ve been saying in recent months: Everyone should be well into their preparations for a rapid downward correction in production levels in the next few months.”
Regarding ACT’s medium duty forecasts, Vieth said, “As has been the case for most of the year, retail sales continue to behave almost as if they were scripted. Additionally, production in July exceeded expectations, and by a significant amount. At least one OEM has made the decision to align its model year changeover with the broader industry, while production cutbacks are beginning to become public.”
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 and appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council. 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.