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March 25, 2014 2:15 PM, EDT
North American Class 8 Sales to Rise, ACT Says
Ellen Pheral/ACT Research Co.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Higher productivity and profits in the trucking industry will help boost production and sales in North America this year and in the following several years, according to ACT Research Co.

“The rate of economic growth relative to the rate of productivity will be the key determining factor of North American truck production over the next three years,” ACT President Kenny Vieth said at the group’s seminar held here on the eve of the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

“We believe the lack of capacity additions over the past decade is finally catching up with the relationship between freight and trucks,” Vieth said at the seminar’s opening session.

Trucking industry profits showed a pop in early 2010 after the end of the recession, but there wasn’t much growth in the next few years, Vieth said.

ACT’s figures showed that North American Class 8 retail sales, including Canada and Mexico, totaled 249,000 last year. U.S. retail sales totaled almost 188,000 in 2013, according to ACT’s figures.

This year, North American sales will rise to 281,000 — almost a 13% increase — and will top out at 290,000 next year before falling slightly in the following four years, Vieth said.

For additional coverage, see the March 31 edition of Transport Topics.