Commercial vehicle demand stabilizing, FTR says

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Orders for heavy-duty commercial vehicles are coming in as anticipated, according to the latest edition of FTR Associates’ North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook. As a result, FTR’s forecast for 2009 calling for a decline of almost 47 percent in Class 8 truck production remains unchanged. The firm calls for a slow recovery to begin in 2010 that will regain some of the ground lost this year, but that 2010 production is still anticipated to be about 30 percent below 2008 levels.

“While the near-term picture is becoming clearer every day, there is an unusual amount of uncertainty with regard to 2011 and beyond,” says Eric Starks, president of FTR. “We are in an unprecedented economic situation where past performance does not necessarily provide relevant guideposts. The range of possible outcomes is still very wide, with either a continued slow recovery or a faster snap-back both quite possible. We are therefore urging our subscribers to remain flexible with regard to their 2011 planning at this time.”

The North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook report features in-depth analysis of the commercial vehicle industry, including forecasts for Class 8 and medium-duty trucks, as well as semi-trailers. The analysis includes FTR’s “Economically Derived Demand” analysis that looks beyond the current order activity to discern underlying equipment demand based on economic and freight trends.

FTR Associates, located in Nashville, Ind., is the publisher of the North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook and has been a provider of transportation forecasting data for more than 20 years. The company says its U.S. Freight Model collects and analyzes all data likely to impact freight movement and demand, incorporating specific characteristics for more than 200 commodity groups. In addition to commercial vehicle demand, FTR Associates says its analysis covers truck freight and rail transportation, and that specially designed reports are offered to participants in both industries to cover specific needs. For more information, go to www.ftrassociates.net.