ACT: Preliminary Data Show Orders for NA Classes 5-8 Vehicles at Eight-Month High



Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in August were 19,500 units, down 4% from July but up 75% based on a year-ago comparison, according to ACT Research. The NA Classes 5-7 market had orders of 19,400 units, up 16% month over month but 2% below their year-ago August volume.

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 graph package. A first-look at preliminary net orders is also published in conjunction with this report.

“Preliminary data show that August orders for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jumped to an eight-month high,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, said. “That volume represented a 5% gain from July and a 26% improvement compared to year-ago August. The month’s orders marked a third consecutive positive reading, following a period where 18 of 19 consecutive months had negative year-over-year comparisons.”

Relating these facts to the North American heavy-duty market, Vieth said, “Considerable parked Class 8 tractor capacity, generous unemployment benefits and consumers spending more on goods and less on experiences has created a perfect storm for carrier profits over the past several months. That convergence of positive factors pushed spot freight rates to record highs in August, and the rally in rates is reflected in the sustained rebound in new medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle demand.”

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