Research explores impact of COVID-19, recovery on nation’s transportation, commercial-vehicle markets

Coronavirus impact
Coronavirus impact

Columbus, Ind. — In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that the North American commercial-vehicle market, as well as the global economy, addressed the spiraling pandemic with shutdown announcements, but the report continued by preparing readers for the restarting phase to come.

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The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial-vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant, high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial-vehicle dealer 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 nation’s macro economy.

“There has been a level of incrementalism to date in shutdown announcements by state and manufacturing entities, and generally speaking, to date we have seen one and two-week extensions to the initial timing of planned shutdowns, with many ‘playing this by ear’,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “The immediate challenge, of course, is saving lives, but the next challenge is saving livelihoods, as the globe does not have the luxury of waiting a year or two for a , to be developed before the solution itself becomes the cause that risks lives.”

Vieth elaborated on the subject of restarting the nation’s economy, noting that “new layers of safety and testing protocols” will be needed “throughout an already complex supply chain, from the lowest to highest tiers and throughout the logistics and warehousing components, not just for new builds, but also for the aftermarket side of the business.”

“It is one thing for the automotive/commercial/off-road industries to get supply chains up and running; it is another entirely to get buyers to market when the economy has so recently cratered and going outside poses an existential risk,” he said.

Vieth concluded, “In a nutshell, the extent of the damage to the US economy will be directly proportional to the time it takes to bring the virus under control. Although no one really knows, with new COVID cases starting to level and vaccine trials underway, we hope that the herculean efforts of the past month or so have made a difference and life as we knew it can begin to return as the situation is de-risked.”

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