Technology: Inside a self-driving truck with Torc Robotics
According to ACT’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, in the short term, COVID risks have increased materially, as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues its global sweep, and reports indicate growing strains on staffing across the US and global economies, thereby threatening manufacturing activity in Q1, inclusive of NA commercial vehicles.
“Minimally, the world should be planning for a January of meaningful labor disruption, and by extension, increased manufacturing challenges, locally and globally,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “Low-cost manufacturing countries with low vaccination rates have had trouble in previous COVID waves. The Delta variant knocked Indian steel production off-line and disrupted automotive sub-assemblers in Southeast Asia. To combat Omicron, the Chinese government has instigated shelter-in-place quarantines, continuing their strict lockdown policy. As China remains the world’s workshop, Chinese parts suppliers and ports going off-line is a real short-term risk.
“It appears that the industry will begin 2022 with still unfinished 2021 units. At the levels we suspect, this is an unprecedented situation, ” Vieth continued. “If your company has parts on all those ‘built, but not built’ units, some adjustment will be required to align your 2021-2022 output with reported and forecast data.”
The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets, as well as takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production, and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast. Information included in this report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.