According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, challenges facing commercial vehicle OEMs and suppliers in January 2021 are vastly different from those being addressed one year 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.
“To repurpose a phrase, commercial vehicle demand started 2020 like a lamb and left the year like a lion. At the start of 2021, the challenges for medium and heavy-duty OEMs and suppliers are flipped 180˚ from a year ago,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s President and Senior Analyst. He added, “Where the challenge a year ago was in winding down build rates to align production with tepid demand, the industry’s challenge today is to ramp-up as rapidly as possible to meet soaring demand.” Additionally, Vieth noted, “The near-term ramp is not without challenges, however, and those include the global steel and silicon chip shortages, as well as ramping up during a pandemic.”
By commercial vehicle segment, Vieth commented, “It seems that everyone is ordering in the Class 8 segment, but the tractor market is rising at a considerably more rapid clip, if against easier year-ago comparisons, than the vocational truck side of market.” Regarding the medium-duty segment, he noted, “Order performance continues mixed across the three market components that ACT tracks, with truck orders benefitting from e-commerce demand and RVs enjoying a pandemic-related boost, although one wonders about the staying power of this phenomenon with vaccines arriving, while social distancing continues to weigh on school bus orders.”
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 64th Seminar is scheduled for February 23-25, 2021. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of power and energy changes in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 64 will feature key industry leaders such as Ryan Reed of Wabash National, John Bennett from Meritor, Lance Riegel of Marvin Johnson, and Dominick Beckman from Hino Motors. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event.Click here for seminar information.