Truck manufacturers are cautiously optimistic about the future amid continuing COVID-19 concerns. This is according to recent forecasting and research from freight analysis firm FTR. In particular, makers of class 8 trucks see trends that indicate strong demand; however, continued supply chain disruption has made it difficult to fulfill this demand as quickly as many manufacturers and customers would like.
In addition to supply chain woes, chip manufacturing in the semiconductor sector remains a significant bottleneck for truck manufacturing. So many functions of modern class 8 trucks rely on semiconductors, meaning without these chips, the product can’t roll off the line. Manufacturing facilities also face worker health and safety concerns, public health restrictions, and uncertainty about essential functions and hours of operation. Different states have imposed restrictions regarding COVID-19 mandates and regulations, leaving the industry as a whole a bit disjointed in its operations.
Looking Toward the Future
It is believed that class 8 trucks will remain in demand, particularly into 2022 and possibly 2023. Part of this demand is referred to as “pent-up demand.” Essentially, the manufacturing and sales processes can be anticipated when operations are running normally. Because of the pandemic, trends have been skewed, and many customers looking for class 8 trucks have had to wait. This has created a glut of orders that all expect to receive fulfillment at the same time.
Forecasting for Battery Power
Manufacturers are also taking note of the upward trends in the use of battery power. Almost all manufacturers have at least one battery-powered vehicle available in their line of class 8 trucks, but managing the development of these vehicles into the future is uncharted territory.
For now, it appears that the industry is feeling its way through things by analyzing usage trends. Depending on the success of electric trucks, the potential exists for further investments into electric infrastructure, including charging stations and diagnostics centers. Whatever the future holds, however, the trucking industry will undoubtedly be there to embrace change and overcome obstacles with determination and hard work.