The Class 8 market is moving from 2019 peak activity in sales and build into a substantial correction in 2020, while activity for the total medium-duty market was jumbled in August, according to ACT Research’s “Transportation Digest.”
“With a major trade caveat, our underlying view is that the economy will have slower growth but not recession, so the heavy-duty truck market rebounds and enjoys three years of growth from 2021 to 2023,” says Tim Denoyer, ACT vice president and senior analyst.
“However, the far years of this forecast are influenced by the prospect of stringent emission controls in 2024, triggering a 2023 pre-buy, followed by a 2024 payback. This regression-to-the-mean for 2020, after near-record production in 2019, has been our forecast since early 2018,” Denoyer says.
Regarding the medium-duty market, Denoyer says, “On one hand, customers are confirming their concern about the near-term future, as exemplified by the continuing pullback in order activity. On the other hand, customers also continue to purchase new vehicles at near-record rates. This dynamic is set to change in 2020, with significantly lower sales and production but a good prospect of improvement off current low order rates.”