According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report, November Class 8 net orders (32.6k) were robust, bringing the three-month total to 128k. For now, business activity in the truck industry rolls on, seemingly unfazed by higher interest rates. That said, ACT expects this dynamic to shift in 2H’23, as the Fed continues its aggressive push to subdue inflation.
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, “Most notable this month was the continued strength in Class 8 order activity. Also, heavy-duty (HD) production levels were ahead of OEM build plans, while medium duty (MD) fell short. Otherwise, activity was largely in line with expectations, with cancellation volumes and rates remaining low.” He continued, “Over the course of Q4’21, there were nearly 52,000 Class 8 cancellations—orders that were booked for but not delivered in 2021—rebooked into 2022 build slots. While cancellations are running at historically low rates today, we caution that, unless the OEMs change the process of dealing with these paperwork noncancellation cancellations, we may see cancellations elevate sharply in December.”
Regarding the anticipated economic downturn, he shared, “Though this week’s 50-basis point increase is a welcome sign, cracks in the economy are becoming more evident: the impact of higher rates has begun to slow activity in the housing sector, and large layoffs have started in the tech sector.”
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.
December's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles Preliminary press release.
November's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles press release.