NASHVILLE, Ind. —Demand for Class 8 vehicles this year will increase just 3 percent over 2009, according to the March North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook Report by FTR Associates. The company projects that this will be followed by considerably more significant improvement of more than 50 percent in 2011.
The market expectation remains at the same levels as was forecast by the firm one year ago.
FTR’s forecast considers that although the overall economic environment is improving, there are still negative conditions such as soft consumer spending and weak housing demand that indicate a slow recovery.
New truck demand will be further hurt by the continuing “large overhang” in underutilized and idle trucks as well as the new EPA mandated engine technology, the firm said.
“Our forecast from February 2009 – 13 turbulent months ago – is being confirmed by current market conditions and remains unchanged,” FTR President Eric Starks said. “Everyone in the industry would have been glad to see improvement in demand before now, but our forecast models showed us that wasn't likely until 2011.”
The full North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook Report is available to subscribers. In addition to FTR’s regular freight, equipment, trucking environment and economic forecasts, the current issue contains commentary exploring the possibility of an inventory bubble created by production of Class 8 vehicles in excess of actual demand over the next few quarters, the company said.
FTR Associates has been making transportation forecasts for more than 20 years. The company’s U.S. Freight Model collects and analyzes all data likely to impact freight movement and is based on specific characteristics for over 200 commodity groups. FTR Associates’ forecast reports cover trucking and rail transportation and include demand analysis for commercial vehicle as well as railcar. For more information, visit www.ftrassociates.com .
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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