Preliminary North American Classes 5-8 Vehicle Orders Continue Strong in February

Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders in February were 43,800 units, up 4% from January and 212% from February 2020, according to ACT Research. North American Classes 5-7 demand, with orders at 25,400 units, slid 4% sequentially but was still up 12% compared with last February. Complete industry data for February, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-March.

“Beyond warmer inflation numbers, there is much to like in the current stream of economic data that indicate broad-based economic activity. As has been the case over the course of this pandemic period, economic growth is being driven by the goods-producing sectors of the economy,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “Consumer spending on goods, a red-hot housing market, a reaccelerating manufacturing sector and pent-up inventories combine to provide very good visibility to near- to mid-term freight trends. Contract freight rates are at record levels, as are spot rates after seasonal adjustment. Without injecting stimulus or infrastructure into the discussion, there is a lot to like about freight, the carrier profit outlook and, by extension, the commercial vehicle demand landscape.”

Regarding the medium duty market, Vieth said, “The shift in consumer spending from experiences to goods continues to support providers of local trucking services, as e-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds in the pandemic economy.”

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