ACT Research analyst upgrades commercial vehicle market forecast across the board

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Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said he expects the North American Commercial Vehicle Market to continue a growth trend, but notes that there are several factors that could impact the market, including a successful COVID-19 vaccination program.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, after pulling the cycle forward in September, ACT’s front-of-the-cycle forecasts were marked up across the board again in October.

“Central to our growing bullishness on current activity translating into the next up-cycle are the non-traditional drivers of current freight market strength, even as more traditional drivers remain in the wings,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “We’re seeing a COVID-driven consumer and business substitution of spending from services to goods, and while a vacation or business trip doesn’t fit into a truck, lumber and technology do.”

The North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK report that 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 dives into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production and backlogs to shed light on the forecast. 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.

“Low interest rates, millennial demographics and urban escapes have supercharged residential investment, and we’re also seeing the need for a period of business inventory restocking that should benefit truck freight into mid-2021. By Q1 ’21, the current manufacturing cycle will hit a nine-quarter downturn, suggesting a tightly coiled spring of pent-up demand, also good for freight and ultimately commercial vehicle demand,” Vieth noted.

“That said, our thesis does rest on three impactful caveats — a successful COVID vaccination program in place by around the second quarter of next year, Congress passing significant legislation to support left-behind economic sectors, and the potential for a flood of drivers into a market that still has considerable parked equipment, thereby blowing-up the favorable rate environment that fleets are enjoying currently,” he concluded.

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