Heavy-Duty Commercial Vehicle Sector Rebound On-Track

Medium-Duty still sluggish

A number of freight transportation and commercial vehicle market factors are aligning and setting the stage for continued improvement in demand for heavy-duty vehicles in the second half of 2010 and into 2011, according to ACT Research Co. (ACT).

In the latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, ACT projects full-year production of heavy-duty (Class 8) vehicles will be up 26% compared to 2009.

The forecast for medium-duty vehicle (Classes 5-7) production remains at 12% year-over-year growth as the housing and construction sectors struggle to regain footing.

"Key building blocks to support improved demand for heavy-duty commercial vehicles are coming into alignment," said Kenny Vieth, senior analyst and partner with ACT Research.

"On the transportation side, all major freight indicators are solidly positive, which has allowed truckload hauling capacity to tighten rapidly. This in turn is allowing freight rates to rise and sets the stage for materially stronger trucker profits. And with used truck values steadily rising, trucking companies are now in a good position to replace an aged fleet," added Vieth.

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