According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the Class 8 market is moving from 2019 peak activity in sales and build into a significant correction next year. The medium duty market remained soft in July, solidifying the thought that the market has passed its cyclical peak, with build and sales both sequentially lower.
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 is designed as a quick look into transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking 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.
“Our Class 8 outlook remains basically unchanged, with current inventory levels a major negative factor, as a classic inventory liquidation cycle, in the face of declining demand, widens the spread between sales and build,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “By now this ‘regression to the mean’ for 2020 is less a forecast than merely seeing through a pattern already in place, with 2019 net orders year-to-date through the August preliminary tally running at a fraction of the orders pace of the same period in 2018. It’s pretty clear that the next chapter of this story will not be a happy one, and it will also impact equipment demand in adjacent sectors, such as construction, oilfield and gas, farm machinery, and industrial.”
Regarding the medium duty market, Vieth commented, “Despite trade and tariff uncertainties, consumers remain admirably resilient, resulting in relatively steady demand for medium duty vehicles. In particular, retail sales are performing as expected.”
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 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.
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