Headwinds remain for North American truck market: ACT Research

Analysts at ACT Research believe the North American market for trucks will perform better than originally expected in 2022, but headwinds remain.

“We are raising our 2022 forecast, reflecting better-than-expected production in June, and some easing of supply conditions, although we believe industry production will continue to be capacity constrained,” said president and senior analyst Kenny Vieth, releasing the latest North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook.

“Our now-higher forecast remains incrementally below the OEMs’ aggregate industry build plan.”

Kenny Vieth, ACT Research
Kenny Vieth (Photo: ACT Research)

Looking at 2023, Vieth referred to challenges including falling freight rates, higher carrier operating costs, rising interest rates, and falling used equipment values. It is still expected to be a “very good year”, but not as good as expected.

“Tailwinds are blowing less hard amid rising headwinds,” Vieth said.

Factors mitigating the risk of a more severe downturn included record carrier profits in 2021, and truckload fleets expected to record their second-highest profits ever in 2022.

“Vehicle demand remains healthy, if moderating from here, with pent-up demand expected to support demand into 2023,” Vieth added. “Finally, some prebuy activity is anticipated prior to the implementation of CARB’s Clean Truck mandate, helping to support activity into year-end.”

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