While medium-duty truck demand has been slowly growing for several months, ACT has cut its 2011 forecast by about 10 percent. The transportation research and analysis firm projects full-year production of Class 5-7 vehicles will be up 12 percent compared to 2009 and accelerate only to 18 percent year-over-year growth in 2011.
The heavy-duty (Class 8) forecast stayed virtually unchanged and calls for year-over-year production growth of 26 percent in 2010 and an additional 57 percent 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."