ACT Research: May Data Show Depth of Supply Chain Disruption in CV Industry

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in May were 6,700 units, up 56% from April, but down 38% from a very easy year-ago comparison. Living up to its “steady” moniker, the NA Classes 5-7 market saw orders improve 5.3% month-over-month, despite being down 57% from the year-ago May volume. Complete industry data for May, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-June.

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.

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“Reflecting the state of the broader economy, there was little to cheer about in May’s industry order activity,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “Considering COVID-related lock downs across the US and North America at the start of the month, and a slow reopening occurring through May in most areas, it was not an exercise building customer confidence.” Vieth further explained, “Restarting the manufacturing sector from a full stop was only partly successful, as Mexico’s lock downs remained in effect well after the US began to reopen, resulting in challenging supply-chain dynamics and fragmented supplier sourcing.”

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.

More information about ACT’s Classes 5-8 reports.

Information about other ACT Research publications, click here.

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

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

ACT Research's COVID-19 Market Watch.

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