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Medium-duty forecast weakened, heavy-duty still strong for 2011: report

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- While medium-duty truck demand has been slowly growing for several months, weakness in the housing and construction sector is hindering a strong rebound in North American production of medium-duty trucks for 2011, according to...


COLUMBUS, Ind. — While medium-duty truck demand has been slowly growing for several months, weakness in the housing and construction sector is hindering a strong rebound in North American production of medium-duty trucks for 2011, according to ACT Research Co. (ACT). However, ACT officials say the heavy-duty sector is still poised for strong production growth in 2011.

 In the latest release of the ACT North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, ACT projects full-year production of medium-duty (Class 5-7) vehicles will be up 12% compared to 2009 and accelerate only to 18% year-over-year growth in 2011. The 2011 medium-duty forecast was reduced by approximately 10%. The heavy-duty (Class 8) forecast stayed virtually unchanged and calls for year-over-year production growth of 26% in 2010 and an additional 57% in 2011.
 
“In aggregate, the medium-duty sector has had four months of improving fundamentals,” said Steve Tam, vice-president, commercial vehicle sector, with ACT Research. “However, when segregated, consistent but slow growth in the truck segment has been masked by short-term surges in either buses or recreational vehicles. With the housing recovery expected to be very protracted, the truck segment will be slow to reach pre-recession levels.”


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