ACT Research: Sharp Decline in Preliminary July Class 8 Orders

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in July were 11,400 units, while NA Classes 5-7 net orders were 13,500 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.

Eric Crawford Headshot“Do we think July’s weak orders represent the end of healthy demand? Perhaps,” said Eric Crawford, ACT’s Vice President and Senior Analyst. He added, “Recent spot rate weakness, and our expectation that a freight recession is inbound, would suggest yes. That said, considering 1) Class 8 backlogs stretch into 2023, 2) ongoing supply-chain issues, albeit easing somewhat, and 3) inflationary cost pressures, leave the OEMs in no rush to open order boards for 2023. In light of this confluence of factors, plus typically challenged seasonality in Q3, we hesitate to extrapolate too much from a datapoint that could prove to be an outlier. To be sure, though, it is a datapoint that warrants increased vigilance going forward.”

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Crawford noted, “Per the backlog analysis and OEM build plans in ACT’s July State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Vehicles report, the 2022 backlog was oversubscribed, with 39k more orders scheduled to be built than build slots available, at the end of June, and June cancellations were negligible.” About medium-duty, he said, “July demand for medium-duty vehicles was similarly challenged, representing the lowest seasonally adjusted total since the pandemic – likely, at least in part, evidence of the shift in consumer spending from goods to services.”

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 67th Seminar is scheduled for August 23-25, 2022. The focus will be the potential impact of decarbonization and autonomous technology on commercial vehicles and on-highway transportation. Each event ACT shares its best-in-class data and forecast in presentations, as well as featuring guest speakers to dive into topics of interest for the benefit of attendees. The agenda includes key industry leaders, who will be announced at a later date. For more information about Seminar 67 Watts Under The Hood: Transportation Transformation, click here: https://www.actresearch.net/seminar-67/.

ACT Research recently completed POWER UP, a look at 7 global regions and more than 20 countries in a review of local regulations, infrastructure, and the impact on the adoption of battery and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles through 2040. This forecast is the first of its kind, a review of the decarbonization of commercial vehicles around the world. POWER UP is available now at https://www.actresearch.net/power-up/.

Additionally, ACT Research published an update to CHARGING FORWARD, a North American-centric battery and fuel cell electric vehicle adoption rate forecast, covering 23 vehicle applications, in Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, through 2040. CHARGING FORWARD is considered by many industry leaders to be the apex of analysis and economic-based total cost of ownership modeling in the industry. And, it is now available for purchase at https://www.actresearch.net/electric-vehicles-charge/.

Click here for more information about ACT’s Classes 5-8 reports.

For information about other ACT Research publications, click here.

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