Preliminary data for May shows depth of supply-chain disruption in commercial-vehicle industry, ACT says

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Purple Class 8 tractor
While ACT’s latest report shows commercial-vehicle sales in May were up from March, figures showed a definitive drop from May 2019.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders in May were 6,700 units, up 56% from April but down 38% from a year ago. Living up to its “steady” moniker, the North American Classes 5-7 market saw orders improve 5.3% month over month, despite being down 57% from the 2019 May volume. Complete industry data for May, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-June.

“Reflecting the state of the broader economy, there was little to cheer about in May’s industry order activity,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst for ACT.

“Considering COVID-related lockdowns across the U.S. and North America at the start of the month, and a slow reopening occurring through May in most areas, it was not an exercise building customer confidence,” he continued. “Restarting the manufacturing sector from a full stop was only partly successful, as Mexico’s lockdowns remained in effect well after the U.S. began to reopen, resulting in challenging supply-chain dynamics and fragmented supplier sourcing.”

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.

The report 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.

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