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ACT Research: Supply-Side Constraints Lead to Trimmed Forecasts for CV Production

October 12, 2021, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

According to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, near-term commercial vehicle production forecasts have been trimmed again, amid continued supply-side constraints.

According to Steve Tam, ACT’s Vice President, “The setup for the entire industry remains unchanged: Despite rock-solid demand metrics across the spectrum of medium and heavy duty vehicle types, industry capacity remains range-bound across a broad front of supply-chain constraints.”

He continued, “Just like heightened inflation, the current situation in North American commercial vehicle manufacturing is transient: The issues impacting production will pass. Of course, while transient implies a return to normal, the word does not describe magnitude or duration.”

Tam added, “Demand-side activities remain at as-good-as-it-gets levels, but supply constraints continue to mushroom.” When asked to elaborate, he commented, “Given all they touch, semiconductors remain the primary culprit in automotive supply-chain woes. While they have become a generic reference to the supply-chain’s shortcomings, in actuality there are scores of parts that continue to be impacted by the pandemic, by the lingering impact of steel tariffs which have domestic steel prices well above other global benchmarks, and the February storm that incapacitated Texas and shut down swathes of the US plastics industry for two-plus quarters. Aluminum extrusions are a challenge, wire is hard to find, and tires have been mentioned since day one of the new cycle. And, reiterating, like the supply-chains themselves, the issues are not only domestic and not only commercial vehicle.”

Tam concluded, “Semiconductors might be masking other component issues, but they are at the heart of the supply-chain’s woes. Even as new ‘fab’ capacity is coming online this year and next, global automotive industry shutdowns continue.”

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