ACT Research: CV Industry Strength Should Be Measured in Long Backlog Lead-times, Not Tepid New Order Activity

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in February were 21,000 units, while NA Classes 5-7 net orders rose to 18,300 units. Complete industry data for February, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-March.

ACT’s State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles 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 activity-related 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. The Class 8 market is segmented into trucks and tractors, with and without sleeper cabs. The report includes a six-month industry build plan, a 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.

“Constrained production capabilities and long backlogs continue to impede new order activity. " - Kenny Vieth“Constrained production capabilities and long backlogs continue to impede new order activity. Based on preliminary February inputs, North American Classes 5-8 net orders were essentially flat compared to January,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He added, “While order weakness is attributable to supply constraints, the ground rules of data collection play a part: The OEMs only report orders that are scheduled to be built within 12 months. With backlogs effectively stretching 12 months, and with limited forward visibility, order volumes have largely been mirroring production activity.”

Vieth concluded, “As has been the case for months, we reiterate that with critical industry demand drivers at, or near, record levels, industry strength should be measured with long backlog lead-times, rather than in tepid new order activity.”

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.

ACT Research recently completed POWER UP, a look at 7 global regions and more than 20 countries in a review of local regulations, infrastructure, and the impact on the adoption of battery and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles through 2040. This forecast is the first of its kind, a review of the decarbonization of commercial vehicles around the world. POWER UP is available now at https://www.actresearch.net/power-up/.

Additionally, ACT Research published an update to CHARGING FORWARD, a North American-centric battery and fuel cell electric vehicle adoption rate forecast, covering 23 vehicle applications, in Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, through 2040. CHARGING FORWARD is considered by many industry leaders to be the apex of analysis and economic-based total cost of ownership modeling in the industry. And, it is now available for purchase at https://www.actresearch.net/electric-vehicles-charge/.

Currently, the team at ACT Research is engaged in a commercial autonomous vehicle multi-client study. Through this work, we will identify adoption rates and forecast autonomous Classes 4-8 vehicles through 2040. If you’re working to understand the economic value proposition or the unit economics of different autonomous models, participation in this study is a must. Learn more at https://www.actresearch.net/autonomous-cv/.

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