According to ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report, given the relatively weak environment for orders, combined with a fairly healthy supply chain, Class 8 backlog should be on a downward trajectory until 2024 order boards open. April was no exception, with backlog down 15.1 thousand units month-to-month to 203.1 thousand.
“As supply conditions have improved, so has output. Evidencing this trend, heavy-duty and medium-duty production each exceeded build plans (again) in April. The Class 8 build rate in April was 1,384 upd, 6% above industry build plan,” Eric Crawford, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “The industry produced 26,302 Class 8 units across April’s 19 production days. Classes 5-7 build averaged 1,192 upd, 13% above build plan. April’s build rate was the highest in nearly four years (since August 2019). The industry produced 22,650 units across April’s 19 build days.”
“Heavy-duty and medium-duty retail sales remain robust, and each rose double digits year-over-year in April. The heavy-duty unit per day rate, 1,431 seasonally adjusted, was its highest in nearly four years, and the medium-duty rate, 1,009 seasonally adjusted, was its highest in 18 months.”
“We expect positive momentum to slow in H2/23, as the impact of prior Fed rate increases takes hold (and additional rate increases may still be yet to come), and the cumulative impact of depressed freight rates over an extended period weighs on pent-up demand,” Crawford said.
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