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Commercial vehicle forecast remains soft through 2010

The forecast for commercial vehicle sales and production continues to soften in 2009 and 2010, according to ACT Research Company (ACT). In its recently published North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, ACT forecasts 2009 Class 8 retail sales will be 43% below 2008 levels and only recover about half of that decline in 2010. Medium-duty Classes 5-7 vehicles are forecasted to be down 26% in 2009 and grow 11% in 2010.

“Orders failing to arrive in sufficient numbers through May all but removed the possibility of an EPA2010-driven bounce in 2009,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT partner and senior analyst. “With significant excess capacity in the trucking industry and no expectation of a strong rebound coming out of the recession, the Class 8 fleet will end 2010 at the oldest average age on record.”

Trailer demand is also being impacted by the steep recession, coupled with structural issues that have increased the average life of trailers. ACT forecasts total trailer shipments will fall 49% in 2009, reaching the lowest levels in 47 years. The company projects a much improved 2010 with total trailer shipments rising 79%.

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