ACT Research: Commercial Vehicle Demand Remains Healthy, Supply Still Constrained

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, the supply-demand setup for the entire 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, many but not all centered on semiconductor shortages.

ACT’s State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales, and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6-7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6-7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs, and step van configurations, while Class 8 is segmented by trucks and tractors with and without sleeper cabs. This report includes a six-month industry build plan, backlog timing analysis, historical data from 1996 to the present in spreadsheet format, and a ready-to-use graph package. A first-look at preliminary net orders is also published in conjunction with this report.

Used 10.19.21 (2)Speaking about the supply chain constraints and commercial vehicle build, Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst, said, “Unfortunately, rebuilding complex global networks requires systems to spin-up at roughly the same speed, which they are decidedly not doing today. China’s curtailing of power-grid output in recent weeks suggests that the global game of Whack-A-Mole is ongoing, and the period of supply-chain normalization continues to be pushed to the right.” He added, “Commercial vehicle production remained under pressure in September, and both medium and heavy-duty build plans for 2021 continue to be marked down, if at a slower pace than in recent months.”

About commercial vehicle demand, Vieth commented, “While the focus is deservedly on the industry’s ability to build Classes 5-8 vehicles, demand-side indicators continue at healthy levels. Despite turbulence that abounds with economy-wide supply shortages, there has not been much in terms of fundamental change in the macro datapoints that influence commercial vehicle demand.” He continued, “While 2021 expectations for GDP growth have fallen from 6.2% to 5.5%, economic strength is broad-based and concentrated in goods-related activity. Flowing from that, freight rates continue to rise, used truck prices are through the roof, and trucker profitability has risen through record levels with Q3 earnings off to a fast start.”

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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