Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in February were 14,100 units, down 18% from January and 16% lower than an easy year-ago comparison. February’s Classes 5-7 net orders rose to an 11-month high 22,200 units, up 12% from January, but down 12% from a very strong year-ago comparison. Complete industry data for February, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-March.
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.
“Weak freight market and rate conditions, as well as a still-large backlog, continue to bedevil new Class 8 orders,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “February is not a particularly strong Class 8 order month and this February’s results, seasonally adjusted, were the weakest monthly order rate since last August.” Vieth also mentioned, “With COVID-19 becoming a hot topic at the end of February, one wonders if that impacted order activity.”
Regarding medium duty activity in February, he noted, “COVID-19 did not seem to bother medium-duty vehicle buyers as much, as that segment reported a third consecutive month of solid orders. Starting in February, the calendar rolls into the peak order season for medium duty vehicles.”
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.
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