ACT Research: Despite Economic Uncertainty, North American CV Markets at Status Quo Levels

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, while the economic set-up remains favorable, considerable friction and uncertainty have been added, with many more loose ends in the economic story than there were a month ago.

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.

“Despite the economic uncertainty and considerable inflationary friction, North American commercial vehicle markets continue to perform at status quo levels.”  - Kenny ViethAccording to Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst, “Despite the economic uncertainty and considerable inflationary friction, North American commercial vehicle markets continue to perform at status quo levels.” He continued, “Persistent supply-chain constraints are still limiting the industry’s ability to raise production levels to align with demand. As a result, backlogs remain long and order volumes remain constrained due to ‘within 12 months’ order reporting ground rules. Until build rates find traction, orders are expected to largely mirror production levels.” Vieth added, “It’s also important to remember that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did not occur until February 24. Hence, we do not believe there is any impact on February’s market statistics.”

Regarding commercial vehicle segment production, Vieth commented, “After high-side beats in December and January, Class 8 production moderated to in-line with expectations in February. Classes 5-7 build stayed choppy, with a rebound to trend build rates in February, after sharply lower production activity in January.”

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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