ACT Research: May CV Data Showing Pandemic’s Mark

According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, the economy continues to re-open with some very big numbers being reported on easy comparisons, after falling sharply the past few months. 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.

Used 06.17.2020

“Hand-in-hand with the re-opening, states across the country continue to reach new highs for COVID-19 cases. While we do not anticipate shutdowns á la April, the reacceleration in cases around the country is a reminder that the economic recovery currently underway is thin and heavily subsidized,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst. He added, “The pandemic’s stamp can be seen across May’s commercial vehicle statistics, with tepid Class 8 order activity, soft production, and falling sales that illustrate weakness from the beginning to the end of the demand spectrum.”

Regarding the medium-duty markets, he commented, “We often note that the medium duty market is roughly half as volatile as the Class 8 tractor market, and that statement holds-up under the weight of COVID-19. Relative to heavy duty, the Classes 5-7 demand picture is comparatively restrained, with May’s orders rebounding from April’s worst-in-a-decade volumes.”

Vieth added, “Despite the sequential upticks, sales and build for the commercial vehicle sectors in May remained woefully behind those recorded a year ago.”

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 here for seminar information.

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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.

June's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles Preliminary Press Release.

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

ACT Research's COVID-19 Market Watch.

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