Class 8 orders remain strong during 4Q of 2022, despite Nov dip
ACT Research sees trend continuing
Pent-up demand at the end of 2022
Up 254% ahead of orders a year ago for the same month
Despite a dip in November, Class 8 orders were strong during 4Q of 2022 and trucking industry data cruncher ACT Research sees that trend continuing. The pattern should lead to bigger backlogs, higher production of heavy-duty trucks, and more certainty and visibility for equipment manufacturers and suppliers well into the first quarter of this year, ACT said in a press release.
ACT said it saw “robust” pent-up demand at the end of 2022 coupled with an anticipated surge in Class 8 orders. Preliminary ACT numbers from November showed they decreased to 33,000 units, but the research firm’s final October numbers were 42,500 units, and September’s orders rose to above 53,000, the most for any month ever.
ACT made its latest forecast for the heavy-truck market via its North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, which examines the next one to five years and gives manufacturers, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers and investors a barometer of Class 8 market comings and goings. It also provides an overview of the North American markets as well as current market activity to highlight orders, production and backlogs, according to a release from ACT.
“In line with expectations, the industry has witnessed a surge of Class 8 orders into year-end. The resulting growth in order backlogs supports higher production and gives manufacturers and suppliers good visibility through” the first half of this year, said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.
Vieth added: “With strong demand in place and inflation metrics moderating, we are now more convinced that first-half build rates will be sustained deeper into the second half of 2023. The more hopeful view on inflation leads us to modestly raise our 2023 Class 8 build expectations.”
He said ACT also has “tempered the severity of the decline we anticipate in freight activity in 2023. To be clear, we continue to expect a macro recession, and a slight year-over-year decline in Class 8 build, but recent economic reports and still strong Class 8 fundamentals have us thinking in a more encouraging direction.”
ACT and another industry data aggregator, FTR Transportation Intelligence, emphasized the encouraging Class 8 order and production news when they released their November truck order reports late last year. FTR noted that while November orders were down, they were still 254% ahead of orders a year ago for the same month.
“Orders may have declined over the last two months, but compared to last year’s weak results, they are showing tremendous gains,” a Dec. 5 FTR release said.
“Manufacturers having opened their order boards for this year more broadly, and ongoing pent-up demand—with tailwinds from strong carrier profitability and elevated fleet age — is proving resilient,” said Eric Crawford, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research, in ACT’s own release on November orders.
About ACT Research
Americas Commercial Transportation (ACT) Research, Co., LLC is the recognized leading publisher of commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for the North American market. Our commitment to data quality & integrity; in-depth analysis; and timeliness have made our services the industry standard.
ACT Research was founded in 1986 with the goal of improving and expanding North American commercial vehicle analysis in order to promote a better understanding of the transportation industry. By working directly with commercial vehicle manufacturers, ACT Research collects and confidentially shares timely market and performance data that provide a comprehensive look at the industry’s past and present performance, with an in-depth analysis of future expectations.