June 12, 2012
ACT Research lowered its Class 8 build expectations for the second half of the year due to continuing softness in demand. Expectations for medium-duty build were unchanged. The trailer industry outlook was basically unchanged as orders and backlogs reached cyclical highs. "Despite the data that we use to gauge demand being nearly uniformly positive, Class 8 demand, as expressed by incoming orders, has hit a soft patch," says Kenny Vieth, ACT's president & senior analyst. "Presently, the rewards of buying a truck are not sufficient to justify the financial risks."We believe the current weakness is centered in the credit-buyer side of the market," Vieth says. "A continuation of reasonable freight growth, strong trucker profits, and healthy used truck prices are expected to support demand once the current period of uncertainty is worked through."