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ACT Research: New EPA Standards Could Drive Largest Prebuy Ever

August 17, 2022, 07:17 AM
Filed Under: Transportation

ACT Research has published a North American commercial vehicle and transportation prebuy analysis, Bigger Than Ever?: The Higher the Cost, The Bigger the Prebuy, which analyzes the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and its likely impact on the U.S. truck manufacturing and freight transportation industries. Key findings indicate the new standards will likely result in the largest prebuy ever.

According to Tim Denoyer, Vice President & Senior Analyst at ACT Research, “The coming prebuys will have large effects on commercial vehicle volumes and industry employment, which will have to be ramped to fulfill demand, only to be followed by significant job cuts and industry financial performance. Prebuying adds surplus capacity, which will weigh on freight rates in 2026 and 2027, perhaps materially impacting the trucking industry’s financial performance for a couple of years. From a long-term perspective, the cost of equipment is a rising barrier to entry that should support industry health and development of clean technologies.”

Denoyer continued, “The significant costs analyzed in this report are needed as the commercial transportation industry takes more responsibility for its role in climate change, and this analysis examines the market consequences of the new rules, filling in some key blanks left in EPA analysis.”

In describing ACT’s prebuy modeling methodology, Kenny Vieth, President & Senior Analyst at ACT Research, said it’s straightforward: “How much is it going to cost to operate? Are those costs mitigated by improved operating characteristics? And does the trucking industry have the wherewithal to do something about it? If the answer to the first question is “biggest ever” and the answer to the second is “no mitigation,” the conditions are in place to warrant a major prebuy.” He added, “The final resolution of prebuy size will be determined by where the economy is in 2025-2026, and based on our analysis, the ability of commercial vehicle supply chains to meet what we foresee as record demand ahead of the prebuy.”

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