ACT Research: Preliminary NA Class 8 Vehicle Orders Side-Step in July, MD Orders Jump 30%

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in July were 25,800 units, unchanged compared to June’s actual 25,809 orders booked. NA Classes 5-7 net orders jumped 30% from June and 70% from a year ago, to 30,200 units. Complete industry data for July, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-August.

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.

“In 2018, there was an explosion of orders across the industry, as dealers raced to get their places in rapidly growing out-year backlog queues. Underlying drivers of commercial vehicle demand are considerably hotter than they were three summers back, with 6-plus percent GDP growth, capacity constraints across multiple shipping modes, at/near-record trucking freight rates, surging carrier profits and record used equipment valuations providing deep support for Class 8 demand,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He added, “While conditions are in place to sell-out 2022 backlogs in a very short time horizon, the industry appears to be approaching order distribution much differently this year. That being said, while order rates remain below the backlog-filling volumes of Q4 and Q1, the 3- and 6-month seasonally-adjusted annualized rates remain well above the industry’s ability to produce.”

Used 8421Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth commented, “With the consumer economy remaining buoyant, July’s Classes 5-7 net orders accelerated on both an actual and seasonally adjusted basis. July’s medium-duty net orders fell just short of a top-five all-time finish, coming in at a respectable sixth best ever.”

Vieth concluded, “North America Classes 5-8 orders in July continued in rangebound fashion, falling in the middle of order activity since April: Preliminary inputs indicate net orders in July were 56,000 units, compared to a lower-bound 48,900 in May and an upper-bound 62,300 in April. While this July’s volume is middling compared to the order standards set over the past year, it handily beats last July’s COVID-impacted volume at +47%.”

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.

What’s coming next in 2021 and 2022? ACT’s 65th OUTLOOK Seminar is the planning event for your business needs. Mark your calendar for August 24-26, 2021 to gain market updates and forecasts from ACT’s award-winning, veteran team with more than 200 years of combined industry experience. Click here for more details. 

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020-2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, was published on March 31, 2021, after months of extensive research. Utilizing industry expertise and analysis, as well as the input from a comprehensive list of key industry study participants, ACT Research has developed a critical guide for battery electric and fuel cell electric unit build and sales forecasts over the next two decades. With coverage of Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, ACT has identified 14 market subsegments and more than 20 application types; this one-of-a-kind report is a must-have for those investing or investigating electric power opportunities. To learn more or to purchase this report, click here

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