In its latest North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, ACT says an economic recovery and tightening capacity in the truckload sector mean significant demand for new trucks in 2011.
ACT expects production to grow 19 percent over last year. ACT also raised the forecast for 2011 by 3,000 units, with year-over-year growth of 67 percent.
The forecast for 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.
"The deck remains tilted against a strong ramp up of Class 8 production in 2010 as the projected growth is still well below replacement level demand," said John Burton, vice president of the 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."