ACT Not Concerned About North American Commercial Vehicle Demand for 2021



According to ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, commercial vehicle demand into 2021 should not be counted among the concerns regarding the economy in the coming months.

“Freight markets and, by extension, commercial vehicle demand have landed in the upper half of the ‘K-shaped’ economic recovery thanks to social-distanced changes in spending,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, said. “Consumer and business expenditures have shifted away from experience-based spending on services towards trucking-reliant spending on goods. Coupling surging freight volumes with the large driver capacity take-out in April, freight rates have been at record levels for weeks.

“The rebound in carriers’ fortunes is reflected in September’s Class 8 statistics, with orders and backlogs jumping, build rates rising and an uptick in retail sales volumes that pushed inventories lower. Except for lower inventories, September’s medium duty statistical roundup is a fair approximation of heavy duty activity, with orders and backlog jumping, build rates on the rise and strong sales.”

ACT’s State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 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 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, while Class 8 is segmented by trucks and tractors with and without sleeper cabs. This report includes a six-month industry build plan, 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.

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