October 31, 2006


North American heavy truck production set to slump in 2007, economist says

Toronto, Ontario – Heavy truck demand has been on the rise since 2003, reaching a record 365,000 units in 2006, but orders have slumped by 30 per cent since March, reports Scotia Economics. The report looks at North American production of Class 8 vehicles, weighing in excess of 33,000 lbs (15,000 kg).

Orders surged by 55 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter, reflecting a rush by trucking companies to renew their fleets ahead of a new, stricter engine emission standard which takes effect in Canada and the U.S. on January 1, 2007. But orders have weakened significantly since then, and in September fell 38 per cent below a year ago, to the lowest level in nearly four years.

The report says the largest heavy truck maker in Canada has increased production at its Chatham, Ontario plant to about 200 units per day to meet production deadlines before the 2007 emission changes, up from 162 units per day last January. However, the boost is temporary, and the company has already warned of potential layoffs early next year.

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