FTR lowers ’09 equipment forecast

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The Oct. 24 issue of FTR Associates’ North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook report reflects a significant reduction in 2009 vehicle equipment forecasts. FTR now expects North American Class 8 factory shipments to come in at about 150,000 units, with U.S. production of trailers to be less than 100,000 units for 2009.

FTR says the lowered equipment forecasts are based on the expected poor economic environment for trucking that will continue to depress freight demand significantly throughout 2009. FTR believes a recession is unavoidable through the second quarter of next year, with total GDP to fall 0.2 percent in 2009.

With limited freight to haul, demand for transportation equipment already is soft and is expected to remain weak over the next several quarters, according to FTR, which sees no noticeable increase in freight demand until the middle of 2010.

“We know this forecast will be a blow to many industry participants, but our instinct is to take the information we have and generate as reliable an outlook for equipment build as possible to give our subscribers a true sense of what to expect,” says Eric Starks, president of Nashville, Ind.-based FTR. “We will continue to do that.”

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