ACT Research: Class 8 Truck Orders at 15,500 Units in May, up 10% Y/Y

ACT Research Co.
3 min readJun 5, 2023

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders bounced back in May with 15,500 units, up 10% y/y (+29% m/m), while preliminary Classes 5–7 surged 27% y/y with 19,000 units (+3% m/m). Complete industry data for May, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-June.

a graph showing the North America Class 8 preliminary net orders for May 2023, with data from January 2019 through May 2023
NA Class 8 Net Orders May 2023 Prelim

“Given robust Class 8 orders into year end and the ensuing backlog support, coupled with normal seasonal order patterns, orders were expected to moderate into Q2 and remain at relatively soft levels into mid-Q3’23. May orders were in line with this view,” shared Eric Crawford, ACT’s Vice President and Senior Analyst. “The relatively few build slots still free in 2H’23 suggest order intake is unlikely to find meaningful traction in the coming months.”

a graph showing the North America Classes 5–7 preliminary net orders for May 2023, with data from January 2019 through May 2023
NA Classes 5–7 Net Order May 2023 Prelim

He added, “Medium-duty demand surged 27% higher y/y to 19,000 units (+3% m/m), reversing course after three straight months of y/y declines. The seasonally adjusted May intake, at 20,600 units, increased 28% y/y (+11% m/m).”

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.

ACT Research State of the Industry: NA Truck Vehicles Classes 5–8

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

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ACT Research Co.

ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.