ACT Research: April CV Data Showing Full COVID-19 Impact, Data Lowest in Decades

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, COVID-19 was in evidence across the commercial vehicle statistics in April, with Class 8 net orders at their lowest level since September 1995 and medium-duty orders at their worst in a decade. Additionally, the report noted that ACT Research has created an easily accessible webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found at

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.

animation - 2020-05-20T123244.940“In addition to the drop in Class 8 net orders, Class 8 production was at its lowest monthly build volume in our records, which began in 1979,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst. He added, “With so little produced in April, Class 8 inventories fell sharply month-over-month. The inventory decline was the largest sequential drop on record, and a big step in clearing a still-too-large new vehicle inventory.”

Regarding the medium-duty markets, he commented, “Compared to April’s Class 8 inactivity, the medium-duty picture was relatively restrained. That said, orders for Classes 5-7 were still down significantly, and the weakness was broad-based, with truck and RV orders falling to levels not seen since the Great Recession. School bus orders plummeted to a 31-month low.”

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

ACT’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020. Focused on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future. Both in-person and livestream options are available for those who wish to participate.

Click below to:

Access seminar information.

Access more information about ACT’s State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report.

Get more information about ACT Research’s other publications and services, click here.

Get April's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles Press Release.

Access ACT Research's COVID-19 Market Watch.

Access In the News Page.

Back to Blog

Related Articles

ACT Research: Freight Markets Still Weak, Data Still Trending Negative

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report, economic...

ACT Research: March CV Data Transitional, Full COVID-19 Impact Still Not Visible in Data

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, truck...

ACT Research: COVID-19 Impact Continues, But Improvement Showing in Data

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the shock waves of the...