Strong freight markets drive commercial vehicle build rates, forecasts higher, says ACT

2021 Economic Graph
Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst for ACT Research, says “there is much to like about the current U.S. economic outlook.”

COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, greater-than-expected build rates in November (the latest available data) continued to apply upward pressure to the forecasts, resulting in an across-the-board rise in ACT analysts’ commercial vehicle demand expectations.

“If you don’t work in a consumer facing economic sector, there is much to like about the current U.S. economic outlook,” said Tim Denoyer, vice president and senior analyst for ACT. “In a nutshell, the sectors that are propelling the economy forward are those with the greatest contribution to freight, and many of those sectors are just starting to ramp into multiyear growth cycles.”

ACT’s report forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next one to five 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, and takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production and backlogs. Information included in the report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium- and heavy-duty trucks/tractors and trailers; the macroeconomies of the U.S., Canada and Mexico; publicly traded carrier information; oil and fuel price impacts; freight and intermodal considerations; and regulatory environment impacts.

“A favorite ACT axiom is, ‘Fleets buy equipment when they make money,’ and we think truckers will generate record profits in 2021,” Denoyer said. “That said, the list of known unknown risks has grown longer recently, including the post-holiday rise in COVID cases, a slower-than-expected roll out of the vaccine, supply chain shortages in steel and microchips, and even the peaceful transfer of power.”

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