ACT: Classes 5-8 Vehicle Orders Continue Strong in March



Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in March were 40,000 units, down 10% from February, but a whopping 424% higher than March of last year’s COVID-stricken intake. NA Classes 5-7 demand, with orders at 31,400 units, were up 19% from February. Demand was more than double (103%) its year-ago level. Complete industry data for March, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-April.

“Fanning the flames of an already robust economy, $1.9 trillion in additional stimulus has started filtering its way into consumers’ pocketbooks,” Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president, said. “In addition, the prospect of a $2 trillion infrastructure bill has consumers and businesses setting their sights higher for both the near- and mid-terms. And, included in that outlook appears to be a need for an increasing number of commercial vehicles.”

Regarding the heavy-duty market, Tam said: “Despite retrenching from February, Class 8 demand remained strong in March, well above replacement and even anticipated economic growth, let alone the industry’s ability to keep pace in the current supply chain constrained environment. In similar bullish fashion, consumer demand, fueled at least in part by the optimism associated with the nearly $2 trillion in recently approved stimulus, has caused buyers of medium-duty commercial vehicles to remain at the demand trough for yet another month. This is particularly interesting, given the medium duty’s second fiddle position in the supply chain pecking order.”

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.

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