What are market indicators used in commercial vehicle forecasting?


The market and business indicators used in commercial vehicle forecasting and database building by ACT Research include new and net orders, cancellations, backlog, build, inventory, factory shipments, and retail sales. ACT Research has defined these indicators in more detail below to help connect the dots between your company definitions and those of ACT Research. These indicators and more information on the market are included in ACT's N.A. CV OUTLOOK and ACT's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles reports. These best-in-class publications provide valuable data and analysis to the market allowing companies to make better informed decisions for their futures. 

How is a new order defined?

New orders are the total number of orders received by the industry each month. Also referred to as gross orders.

How is a cancellation defined?

Cancellations are units that have been ordered previously and are then cancelled. Order and cancellation cannot occur in the same month.

How is a net order defined?

A net order is the total number of new orders minus the cancellations. New Orders – Cancellations = Net Orders.

What is a backlog?

The backlog is the number of vehicles that have been ordered but have not yet been built. Backlog is calculable: Past backlog + current net orders – current build = new backlog.

How is build defined?

Build, or production, pertains to the number of vehicles produced for a given market, NOT the country in which the actual production takes place. When a unit leaves the assembly line, it is counted in the build data.

How is inventory defined?

Inventory is the number of units that have been built, but for which no retail sale has yet taken place. Inventory is a calculable number, rather than an additive, number: Past inventory + current build – current retail sales = current inventory.

What is a factory shipment?

Units that have been built and have left the factory. Factory shipment data is read as “built-in” a country.

What is a retail sale?

Retail sales are the number of units sold to end-users.

What is the difference between factory shipments and retail sales?

Factory shipments vs. retail sales: For the trucking industry, ACT tracks monthly and annual retail sales data. These numbers differ from factory shipments. Total OEM build is not equal to or the same as factory shipments (as reported by Wards). A factory shipment takes place when the truck leaves the factory. A retail sale takes place when the truck is actually sold. The timing of a vehicle’s build, its subsequent shipment from the producing factory, and the final retail sales are three different events that do not occur on the same day.

Looking for in-depth insights in the commercial vehicle markets? Get the expertise and knowledge your business deserves. Click the button below to learn more about ACT's State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles reports.


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ACT’s North America Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK is the premier forecasting report of its kind. Since 1986 ACT Research has been working directly with OEMs as they discretely share their data and information, allowing ACT Research to have an unprecedented level of understanding of the commercial vehicle market. Couple this data with our award winning economist, robust databases, and years of industry experience and you get a best-in-class outlook for the industry.

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