In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that North American Class 8 net orders were soft in May, as full 2021 backlogs and as-yet (fully) opened 2022 order books constrained activity. The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets.
“For Class 8, after a torrent of orders from October to March, orders moderated in April, before falling to a nine-month low in May,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “The order lines on the dashboard graph illustrate the current rollover in the trend. A drop in the order trend preceded the opening of subsequent years’ orders in each of the last two cycles, with significantly higher orders booked ahead of the second year of the cycle. Given recent historical precedent, we would expect orders to rise materially in coming months.
“While our expectation is that orders will jump in early Q3, we add two caveats: First, through all but the most recent cycle, OEMs have typically not opened out-year order books until September-October,” Vieth elaborated. “Second, at a recent conference, an OEM executive indicated that his company was at least contemplating some type of allocation system to best serve all of their customer constituencies in challenging market conditions.”