ACT: COVID-19’s Impact on N.A. Commercial Vehicle Market



In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that the North American commercial vehicle market, as well as the global economy, addressed the spiraling pandemic with shutdown announcements, but the report continued by preparing readers for the restarting phase to come.

“There has been a level of incrementalism to date in shutdown announcements by state and manufacturing entities, and generally speaking, to date we have seen one and two-week extensions to the initial timing of planned shutdowns, with many ‘playing this by ear’,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “The immediate challenge, of course, is saving lives, but the next challenge is saving livelihoods, as the globe does not have the luxury of waiting a year or two for a vaccine to be developed before the solution itself becomes the cause that risks lives.”

Vieth elaborated, “Restarting the economy will need to be done with new layers of safety and testing protocols in place throughout an already complex supply chain, from the lowest to highest tiers and throughout the logistics and warehousing components, not just for new builds, but also for the aftermarket side of the business.” He commented further, “It is one thing for the automotive/commercial/off-road industries to get supply chains up and running, it is another entirely to get buyers to market when the economy has so recently cratered and going outside poses an existential risk.”

Vieth concluded, “In a nutshell, the extent of the damage to the U.S. economy will be directly proportional to the time it takes to bring the virus under control, and although no one really knows, with new COVID-19 cases starting to level and vaccine trials underway, we hope that the herculean efforts of the past month or so have made a difference and life as we knew it can begin to return as the situation is de-risked.”

The Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium-duty segments, the total U.S. trailer market, used truck sales information, and a review of the U.S. macroeconomy.

Additionally, ACT Research has created an easily accessible COVID-19 MARKET WATCH webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators.

ACT’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020. Focused on the road to recovery from COVID-19, the event will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future. Both in-person and live stream options are available for those who wish to participate.

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Terry Mulreany
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