ACT Research’s 63rd Seminar Headlined with Economic and CV Discussions on Day One

ACT Research Co.
4 min readAug 14, 2020

Moving from an in-person to a virtual platform, ACT Research began its 63rd Seminar on August 11, with a panel discussion about the current state and future of US economics. Panelists included Patrick Manzi, Senior Economist for NADA, as well as ACT’s Principal, Industry Analyst, Jim Meil, and Chief Economist, Sam Kahan.

Kahan noted, “Uncertainty, unpredictability, and vulnerability best describe the current forecasting environment.” He added, “Pressure to automate will be intense, especially in the services sectors.” Meil explained, “Long-term forecasts are inherently a shaky proposition. But if history is any guide, the expansion that follows the COVID-recession will last well beyond 2025, perhaps reaching end-of-decade.”

ACT Research holds two seminars per year for the benefit of its N.A. CV OUTLOOK subscribers. The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next 1–5 years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan accordingly for what is to come. 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.

Tim Denoyer, ACT’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, walked viewers through the explosion in truckload spot rates, what’s driving it, how it will be impacted by freight demand and capacity trends, and what all that means for the truck cycle, before turning the microphone to Frank Maly, ACT’s Director, CV Transportation Analysis & Research. Speaking about the US trailer market, Maly said, “Orders have improved after the COVID-driven lockdown levels of spring, but OEMs are still seeking to bring production into equilibrium with order placement.” He continued, “However, there are indications of some ‘green shoots’ in the market that could be pointing toward improving times ahead.”

Regarding the North American medium-duty market, Steve Tam, ACT’s Vice President, noted, “Whether or not shifting last mile and home delivery patterns are changing medium duty truck buyers’ equipment specifications permanently continues to be clouded by uncertainty. But as the market recovers, buyers are showing an obvious bias in favor of smaller vehicles.”

The three-day virtual seminar continues on August 12, when Mihai Dorobantu, Innovation & Advanced Technology Executive from Eaton, will discuss the future of hydrogen technology, Eric Fedewa, head of global market intelligence for Rhein Associates, will talk about key developments and the future of diesel engines, and Steve Slesinski, Director of Global Product Planning for Dana Incorporated will share thoughts about electrifying the medium duty market. Additionally, day two audience members will hear ACT’s Vice President Steve Tam talk about the US used truck market, and President and Senior Analyst, Kenny Vieth, will share his thoughts about the Class 8 market, now and in the future. Day three, on August 13, will feature two panels. The first will consider current and future market trends from the perspective of dealers and truckers, while the second will discuss alternative power and panelists will offer their takes on whether or not the 2020s will still be an electrifying decade for North American commercial vehicles or if there is going to be a different alternative. For information about the remainder of Seminar 63, including how to register, click here.

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at

Additionally, ACT Research has created an easily accessible COVID-19 MARKET WATCH webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found at

ACT’s 64th Seminar is scheduled for February 23–25, 2021. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of power and energy changes in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 64 will feature key industry leaders such as Ryan Reed of Wabash National, John Bennett from Meritor, Lance Riegel of Marvin Johnson, and Dominick Beckman from Hino Motors. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. When details are available, they may be found at

For more information about ACT’s NA Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, click here.



ACT Research Co.

ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.