ACT Research predicts strong Class 8 demand in coming years

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research is predicting North American demand for Class 8 trucks will top 300,000 units in 2012 and 2013.

In its latest ACT North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, the analyst said the fundamentals that would support the start of an upcycle in the market are now in place, with net orders of new trucks and trailers up in the last quarter of 2010. The forecaster says indications are that trucking fleets are now ramping up the replacement of vehicles, which has been deferred the past two years.

ACT says full-year production of Class 8 trucks will come in at 154,500 units in 2010, up 31% over 2009 but still below normal replacement demand.

ACT also suggested trailer production to grow in excess of 50% in both 2010 and 2011.

“The combination of rising freight volumes, improving trucker profits, rising used equipment values and the oldest North American fleet on record have led to a resurgence in demand for new commercial vehicles,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst with ACT Research. “The biggest constraint in 2011 will be the ability of equipment manufacturers and component parts suppliers to ramp up production fast enough. As a result, the upcycle is expected to last through 2013.”

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