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Preliminary North American Class 5-8 vehicle orders still healthy

Dec. 3, 2020
ACT Research shows that Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders in November were 51,900 units – 33 percent higher than October and 197 percent higher than November of last year.

Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders in November were 51,900 units, up 33 percent from October and a 197 percent improvement from a year ago. North American Classes 5-7 demand continued in-line with recent activity, at 27,200 units. That order volume represents a 9 percent decrease from October’s 30-month high but was still up 78 percent compared to last year. Complete industry data for November, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-December.

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

“The pandemic-impacted economy continues to play into the hands of trucking,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT. “With freight rates surging to record levels the past three months and carrier profits certain to follow, orders accelerated in November. Preliminarily, North American Class 8 net orders rose to the third highest level in history, proving once again our favorite commercial vehicle demand axiom, when carriers make money, they buy, or at least order, trucks.”

“There is a symbiotic relationship between heavy duty freight rates and medium duty demand,” Vieth said regarding the medium duty market. “Clearly, the shift in consumer spending from experiences to goods has been good for the providers of local trucking services as e-commerce has grown by leaps and bounds during the pandemic.”