Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in August were 19,500 units, down 4% from July, but up 75% from an easy year-ago comparison. The NA Classes 5-7 market saw orders at a healthy 19,400 units, up 16% month-over-month, but 2% below their year-ago August volume. Complete industry data for August, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-September.
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.
“Preliminary data show that August orders for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jumped to an eight-month high,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “That volume represented a 5% gain from July and a 26% improvement compared to year-ago August.” Vieth further explained, “The month’s orders marked a third consecutive positive reading, following a period where 18 of 19 consecutive months had negative year-over-year comparisons.”
Relating these facts to the North American heavy-duty market, Vieth said, “Considerable parked Class 8 tractor capacity, generous unemployment benefits, and consumers spending more on goods and less on experiences has created a perfect storm for carrier profits over the past several months. That convergence of positive factors pushed spot freight rates to record highs in August, and the rally in rates is reflected in the sustained rebound in new medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle demand.”
Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth commented, “While still not cracking year-ago order levels, the medium duty market is competing against tougher year-ago comparisons than the Class 8 market, but Classes 5-7 order levels remained healthy in August.”
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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Access August's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles Preliminary Press Release.