September 20, 2012
Weakness at the front end of the demand cycle for heavy duty commercial vehicles persisted into August, although underlying fundamentals are healthy, according to ACT Research Co.North American Class 8 truck orders fell 23.4% to 16,200 in August from a year earlier. This updated status of the North America commercial vehicle market was included in the State of the Industry report, recently released by ACT Research Co. The report covers Class 5 through 8 vehicles for the North American market."Class 8 orders are likely to continue in hand-to-mouth fashion until there is better clarity about the domestic fiscal policy," says Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT. "That means that orders will remain soft at least through October, leaving little opportunity for a production rebound into early 2013." Vieth added that because underlying fundamentals are healthy, as the near-term outlook becomes less opaque, national confidence will improve. This will set the stage for a rebound in commercial vehicle demand.ACT is predicting North American heavy-duty truck production should rise to 284,700 vehicles this year, an 11.5% gain from 2011. For 2013, however, the firm is predicting a less than 2% gain.