In the recent release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that it raised its forecasts across the board in January amid greater-than-expected build rates, which continue to apply upward pressure to forecasts.
“We always track the forecasts relative to the actual results. However, there comes a point in every year when the models take a backseat to what is actually happening,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “With ACT’s freight metric indicating 10% freight growth in 2021, the question today has moved from what the models are saying to trying to determine the speed at which build rates climb from here.
“The re-engagement of the global economy has created significant constraints on steel supply, and could be a limiting factor in early 2021 as the supply chain attempts to ramp to build more trucks and trailers. Microchips have also been added to the list of supply chain concerns. At this juncture, our expectation is that the industry will follow standard procedures and red-tag incomplete trucks coming off the assembly line and repair them on the back end. As an illustration, the industry continued to build through a tire-and-axle shortage a few years back. While we believe this will be the case, we are monitoring the situation and will make adjustments to build expectations accordingly.”
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