The economy may be slowing, but truck demand is picking up, and will double by 2013, according to ACT Research.
The commercial vehicle research firm expects truck makers to roll out 151,000 Class 8 trucks this year. That's a 27 percent increase over truck production in 2009, one of the worst years on record for truck manufacturers and their customers.
In 2012 that number should exceed 300,000, ACT Research predicts.
By The Numbers: U.S. IMC Highway Yield.
Older trucks are being replaced and the price of used trucks has climbed, making it easier to sell new vehicles. The average age of a Class 8 tractor is now 6.7 years, which means owners will soon have to replace or retire them.
Current production and sales are still below normal replacement demand, however, indicating truck capacity will remain tight in 2011.
"Our forecast for 2010 has stayed in a narrow range for the past 15 months as our model predicted a slow economic recovery and heavy-duty demand still well below normal replacement," said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst with ACT.
"While headwinds make a full-blown economic recovery unlikely before 2012, recent trends in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets point toward demand for new vehicles building throughout 2011 and 2012," said Vieth.
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