ACT Research: Rapid Freight Rate Improvement Contributes to Spike in June NA Class 8 Net Orders

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in June were 16,000 units, rising 139% from May, and up 23% from a very easy year-ago comparison. The NA Classes 5-7 market saw orders improve 77% month-over-month, despite being down 20% from the year-ago June volume. Complete industry data for June, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-July.

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.

Copy of Used 07.06.20 (3)

“Preliminary data show that June orders for medium and heavy duty vehicles jumped to a four-month high, rising above the combined April and May order tally,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “On the back of a rapid improvement in freight rates over the course of May and June, North American Class 8 net orders spiked in June and were up against an easy year-ago comparison, when orders were under pressure from still large backlogs and rising equipment overcapacity.” Vieth further explained, “June is typically a slower order month, so seasonal adjustment augments the rebound.”

Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth commented, “Preliminary data here also show a four-month high and seasonal adjustment provides a lift to June’s Classes 5-7 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 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020, and is being offered via livestream for those wishing to participate. 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. Click here for seminar information.

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