High ceiling for class 8 truck sales in ’11

COLUMBUS, Ind. — While the deck is tilted for growth this year, experts predict significant heavy-duty truck demand in 2011 as the North American strengthens amid rapidly tightening capacity in the truckload sector.

In its latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, ACT Research increased its forecast for Class 8 vehicle production by 6,000 units, boosting year-over-year growth in 2010 to 19 percent.

The forecast for 2011 was also increased by 3,000 units, projecting year-over-year growth of 67 percent.

Medium-duty vehicle (Classes 5-7) production, which is largely tied to the health of housing and construction, was unchanged, projecting growth of 19 percent in 2010 and 32 percent in 2011.

"In 2010 … the projected growth is still well below replacement level demand," said John Burton, vice president-transportation sector with ACT Research. "However, fleet age has truckers increasingly making comments about upgrading the fleet and anecdotal evidence suggests reserve capacity is in poor shape, having been idled and cannibalized during the downturn." 

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