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Forecaster sees continued soft market for trucks, trailers

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- North American Class 8 truck sales in 2009 will be 43% lower than in 2008 and will only reco...

COLUMBUS, Ind. — North American Class 8 truck sales in 2009 will be 43% lower than in 2008 and will only recover about half of that decline in 2010, according to the latest projections from forecaster ACT Research Company.


The company also projected medium-duty sales will be 26% lower in 2009 than in 08 and will grow 11% in 2010. The projections are published in the researcher’s latest North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook report.


“Orders failing to arrive in sufficient numbers through May all but removed the possibility of an EPA2010-driven bounce in 2009,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT partner and senior analyst. “With significant excess capacity in the trucking industry and no expectation of a strong rebound coming out of the recession, the Class 8 fleet will end 2010 at the oldest average age on record.”


Demand for trailers will also remain weak, according to the forecaster, thanks to the recession as well as structural issues that have increased average trailer life.


ACT says total trailer shipments will fall 49% in 2009, reaching the lowest levels seen in 47 years. However, the research company expects a solid rebound in 2010 with shipments increasing 79%.


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