While signs have been pointing to a slowdown, Class 8 truck production is expected to continue growing for most of 2019, tapering off by the end of the year and into 2020.

This is according to the recently released report published by ACT Research and Rhein Associates, N.A. Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine Outlook. Rhein Associates focuses on the powertrain market and its president Tom Rhein, commented that large displacement diesel engines remain the dominant power in the heavy-duty commercial truck industry.

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“Trucks are the primary application of engines under 10L, with the proportion closely following truck production,” said Rhein. “Although there is an industry trend to smaller displacement engines, movement from premium over 10L engines to lower durability engines under 10L engines is limited.”

Medium-duty Class 5-7 truck production is forecasted to remain at the current high level, with minimal annual fluctuations in contrast to the projected slowdown in the Class 8 truck market.

“For this segment of the commercial vehicle industry, trucks remain the dominant category, approximately 74% of the Classes 5-7 total,” said Rhein.

Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research noted that diesel’s dominance is being challenged by increased emissions regulations that are driving alternative fuel and powertrain investment and development.

“Diesel power is under attack long-term for use in on-highway commercial vehicles. Alternative power is being developed, tested, and refined, even as diesel engines are transitioning to become more fuel efficient and clean,” said Vieth. “Emission regulations are one of the main drivers of alternative fuel adoption, which is why the Engine Outlook includes a section on the commercial vehicle regulatory environment.”

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