According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report, January heavy-duty (HD) orders were relatively weak, but it remains to be seen whether this represented a pause after robust year-end orders, or the beginning of a more broad-based pullback in demand. Notably, both HD and medium-duty (MD) seasonally adjusted retail sales were robust.
ACT’s State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales, and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6-7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6-7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs, and step van configurations, while Class 8 is segmented by trucks and tractors with and without sleeper cabs. This report includes a six-month industry build plan, backlog timing analysis, historical data from 1996 to the present in spreadsheet format, and a ready-to-use graph package. A first-look at preliminary net orders is also published in conjunction with this report.
According to Eric Crawford, ACT Research’s Vice President, Senior Analyst, “Heavy-duty retail sales (SA) rose 29% y/y to 29,200 units (23,765 nominal). The 1,389-upd rate (SA) was 22.9% ahead of the year-ago rate, 15.5% above the full-year 2022 average, and up 4.5% m/m.” He continued, “Classes 5-7 retail sales (SA) rose 6.1% y/y to 20,800 units (17,669 nominal). The 993-upd rate (SA) was 1.0% ahead of the year-ago rate, 10.3% above the sales rate averaged throughout 2022, and up 15.1% m/m.”
Crawford concluded, “Business activity in the truck industry rolls on, with retail sales seemingly unphased by higher interest rates, as pent-up demand remains, for now. We expect this dynamic to shift in 2H’23, as the Fed continues its aggressive push to subdue inflation.”
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 www.actresearch.net.
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More information about ACT’s State of the Industry: N.A. Classes 5-8 Vehicles report and data.
Information about other ACT Research publications.
February's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles Preliminary press release.
January's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles press release.