According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, May and June have returned to something closer to life as usual, following the shutdowns of March and April. Additionally, ACT Research has created an easily accessible webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found by clicking here.
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.
“A survey of the current business landscape shows a picture of intensifying cross-currents, with an uncertain outcome,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst. He added, “On one side, the economy and motor freight have been surprisingly strong from the beginning of May to mid-July, resulting from dialed back restrictions on workplaces, relaxed shelter-in-place, and the associated revival in business and social activity. However, closely associated with return-to-normal has been its downside, the rise of COVID-19 cases.”
Regarding the commercial vehicle markets, in general, he commented, “It is important to note that unlike previous business downcycles, this recession has had its most severe impact on service sectors, and while important, they tend to be less intense users of truck transportation.”
By segment, Vieth commented, “The revival of the economy and freight is readily apparent in the sharp increase in Class 8 net orders in June, with upgrades in production, as well. Classes 5-7 orders continued their rebound in June, marking the best sequential gain since August 2009.”
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’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020, and is being offered via livestream for those wishing to participate. 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.
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