ACT Research: Preliminary NA Class 8 Orders Rise 145% Y/Y in September



Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in September were 31,100 units, which were up 60% from August and 145% compared with September 2019, according to ACT Research. Orders in the NA Classes 5-7 market were at 26,900 units in September, which was up 37% month-over-month and 48% versus year-ago September volume. Complete industry data for September — including final order numbers — will be published by ACT Research in mid-October.

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 September orders for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles posted positive readings for a fourth consecutive month after 19 consecutive months of negative year-over-year comparisons,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, said. “In aggregate, Classes 5-8 orders rose 49% from August and improved 88% compared to year-ago September.”

“As orders rebounded to relatively healthy levels early in Q3, most of those orders were targeted at filling open 2020 build slots. With most of that work done by the end of August, we suspect the lion’s share of September’s orders were booked into 2021.

“There is a symbiotic relationship between heavy-duty freight rates and medium-duty demand, and clearly the shift in consumer spending from experiences [services] to goods has been good for the providers of local trucking services.”

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