Day two of ACT Research’s semi-annual Outlook Seminar began with a concentration of industry speakers talking about emerging technology, from electric battery powertrains to the future of hydrogen technology to autonomous technology. Guest speakers included Steven Wolverton, Product Planning Manager-Powertrain at Peterbilt Motors, from PACCAR, Alan Dowdell, VP-Business Development, with Wrightspeed, Bill Zobel, Executive Director of the California Hydrogen Business Council, and Aaron Jefferson, Vice President of Product from Luminar Technologies. Additionally, ACT’s Kenny Vieth and Steve Tam were on hand to discuss the US used truck and Class 8 markets, including how technology will impact the future of these segments.
Regarding the Class 8 market, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, Kenny Vieth, commented, “ACT’s freight-weighted GDP metric continues to indicate that freight growth in 2021 will be the strongest on record at 12.6%, surpassing the 10.7% growth witnessed in 1984. Moving into the end of the year, the heavy truck market continues to grapple with supply-chain constraints that are limiting production in a period of near-record demand.” Looking farther afield, Vieth noted, “The unlimbering of supply-chain constraints will be the critical determinant of demand in 2022: Best-ever freight conditions, record carrier profits, and robust backlogs are in place for 2022 to contend as one of the best years ever for North American Class 8 production.”
Before day two closed, Steve Oliver, National Sales Director for Taylor & Martin, shared his thoughts about how buyers and sellers are reacting to the current used truck market, and ACT’s Vice President, Steve Tam, talked about where the market and pricing are headed, as well as when the situation is predicted to return to “normal.” Regarding the current situation, Tam commented, “Much like many other areas of the economy and commercial vehicle industry, scarce inventory and strong demand have conspired to send used truck prices to historically high levels. Based on ACT’s July sales data, the average selling price of a used Class 8 truck was $59,000, 46% higher than in July 2020.” When asked about the future of this CV segment, Tam said, “Even though the industry is challenged on the inventory front, 2021 sales are expected to increase about 6%, to 265,000. Full-year expectations are for prices to remain elevated, probably in the 30-40% range. Looking ahead, growth in pricing is expected to last through the first half of the year, with the balancing of supply and demand being the catalyst that will result in prices retreating from peak.”
ACT Research holds two seminars per year for the benefit of its N.A. CV OUTLOOK and Freight Forecast: U.S. Rate and Volume OUTLOOK subscribers. 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. The monthly 56-page ACT Freight Forecast report provides forecasts through 2023 for volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal sectors of the transportation industry, including the Cass Shipments Index and Cass Truckload Linehaul Index®. For the truckload spot market, the report forecasts rates through 2022. The Freight Forecast provides unmatched detail on the freight rate outlook, helping companies across the supply chain plan with greater visibility and less uncertainty.
The three-day virtual seminar continues on August 26, with two panel discussions planned. Jon McCoy, Corporate VP Used Trucks at Truck Country, Henry Knabe, General Manager of H.K. Truck Center, and Steve Bassett, General Truck Sales’ President, will join Steve Tam for a truck dealer panel to share their thoughts on how all the buzz of commercial vehicle electrification is impacting their operations and their futures. The day’s final panel includes Dino Nardicchio, Head of Automotive and AV Partnerships with Cavnue, Jon Barad, VP of Business Development for Velodyne, and Asad Lesani, CEO of Bluecity, who will discuss what the future holds for adoption of connected and autonomous trucks with ACT’s VP of Electrification and Autonomy, Ann Rundle.
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. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. When details are available, they may be found at www.actresearch.net.
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.