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ACT Research: NA Classes 5-8 Vehicles at Eight-Month High

September 03, 2020, 07:15 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in August were 19,500 units, down 4 percent from July, but up 75 percent from an easy year-ago comparison. The NA Classes 5-7 market saw orders at a healthy 19,400 units, up 16 percent month-over-month, but 2 percent below their year-ago August volume. Complete industry data for August, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-September.

“Preliminary data show that August orders for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jumped to an eight-month high,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “That volume represented a 5 percent gain from July and a 26 percent improvement compared to year-ago August.”

He explained, “The month’s orders marked a third consecutive positive reading, following a period where 18 of 19 consecutive months had negative year-over-year comparisons.”

Relating these facts to the North American heavy-duty market, Vieth said, “Considerable parked Class 8 tractor capacity, generous unemployment benefits and consumers spending more on goods and less on experiences has created a perfect storm for carrier profits over the past several months. That convergence of positive factors pushed spot freight rates to record highs in August, and the rally in rates is reflected in the sustained rebound in new medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle demand.”

Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth commented, “While still not cracking year-ago order levels, the medium duty market is competing against tougher year-ago comparisons than the Class 8 market, but Classes 5-7 order levels remained healthy in August.”

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