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ACT Research: While CV Industry Showing Caution Flags, There’s Still Much to Like

According to ACT’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, for the first time since Q2’20 transportation metrics stopped moving “up and to the right” in Q1’22.

The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next 1-5 years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan accordingly for what is to come. The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets, as well as takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production, and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast. Information included in this report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.

According to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, “While a mid-2022 deceleration in freight activity and rates has long been anticipated in ACT’s freight market research and the timing of the turn was as anticipated, the magnitude of the correction was considerably larger than expected.” He continued, “Early April data suggest rate moderation continued. Other transportation metrics, like load/truck ratios and load turndowns, also fell sharply in March, moving from tight to neutral levels and reinforcing the weakness exhibited in spot rates.” Vieth added, “While March was clearly an inflection point, and the economy is downshifting from its frothy 2021 pace, it is not clear to us that March was the inflection point.” 

Vieth noted, “Recognizing the uptick in caution flags, there is still much to like about the current situation. Carrier profitability, pent-up demand, and prebuying remain large forces that should propel the industry into the end of 2023. And, while the risk of stagflation has grown, part of the ‘-flation’ is a wicked-hot US (and Canadian) job market. As well, and unlike say, 2007, consumer debt service as a percentage of disposable income is running well below the record levels of the pre-Great Recession period, and corporate profits are at all-time highs, so there is greater capacity economy-wide to absorb shocks.”

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

ACT Research recently completed POWER UP, a look at 7 global regions and more than 20 countries in a review of local regulations, infrastructure, and the impact on the adoption of battery and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles through 2040. This forecast is the first of its kind, a review of the decarbonization of commercial vehicles around the world. POWER UP is available now at https://www.actresearch.net/power-up/.

Additionally, ACT Research published an update to CHARGING FORWARD, a North American-centric battery and fuel cell electric vehicle adoption rate forecast, covering 23 vehicle applications, in Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, through 2040. CHARGING FORWARD is considered by many industry leaders to be the apex of analysis and economic-based total cost of ownership modeling in the industry. And, it is now available for purchase at https://www.actresearch.net/electric-vehicles-charge/.

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