ACT Research: Preliminary North American Class 5-8 Vehicle Orders Moderated in April



According to ACT Research, preliminary North American Class 8 net orders reached 33,500 units in April, which was down 16% from March but up 689% compared with April 2020’s COVID-19-stricken intake. In addition, North American Classes 5-7 demand in April, with orders at 27,300 units, slipped 15% from March but was up 269% compared with April 2020. Complete industry data for April, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-May.

“For the past several months, we have been counting down the remaining open Class 8 build slots in 2021. For that exercise, we use three numbers: year-to-date Class 8 build, the Class 8 backlog analysis from ACT’s State of the Industry report and a materials-shortage-constrained 2021 forecast,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst for ACT Research, said. “We start with that preamble to highlight that it is not a surprise that Class 8 orders fell to their lowest level since September and that the decline was strictly driven by the supply of open build slots in 2021 rather than a change in new equipment demand.”

Regarding the heavy-duty market, Vieth said, “While orders moderated in April, the three- and six-month net order SAARs highlight the strength of demand, at [472,000] and [488,000], respectively. Like Class 8, April’s Classes 5-7 net orders moderated, even as activity remained at high levels.”

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