ACT Research: Supply will be top concern for commercial vehicle markets in 2021

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New Freightliners
Analysts at ACT Research believe truck and trailer manufacturers will be hard-pressed to meet the demand for new units during 2021. (Linda Garner-Bunch/The Trucker)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to ACT’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, the demand story for commercial vehicles remains unchanged this year. However, analysts say, the supply chain’s ability to respond to demand will be the key determinant of Class 8 and van trailer production in 2021.

“Because of the global surge for resources that began in the last half of 2020, the added challenges of ramping the supply chain rapidly in a pandemic, and other exogenous factors bubbling up, we are comfortable taking a cautious approach to our full-year 2021 calls,” said Kenny Vieth president and senior analyst at ACT.

“As we start 2021, the high points for CV demand include strength in key freight generating economic sectors, carrier profitability that is expected to rise to record levels this year, strong orders and rapidly-filling backlogs,” he continued. “While demand is strong, supply chain impediments are accumulating, from steel production constraints created by global economic reengagement during a pandemic, to silicon chip shortages, and in late January the Mexican government ordering oxygen producers to give medical demand precedence over industrial supplies.”

ACT’s North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook 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 close look at relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast. Information included in the report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium- and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, in addition to 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.

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