ACT Research: Strong November Class 8 Orders Likely Pushed Backlog Higher and Extended 2H’23 Build Visibility

ACT Research Co.
3 min readDec 7, 2022

COLUMBUS, IN — Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in November were 33,000 units, while NA Classes 5–7 net orders were 21,400 units. Complete industry data for November, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-December.

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.

State Of The Industry: N.A. Truck Vehicles Classes 5–8

Regarding the strength in Class 8 orders, Eric Crawford, ACT’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, shared, “OEMs having opened their orderboards for 2023 more broadly, and ongoing pent-up demand — with tailwinds from strong carrier profitability and elevated fleet age — is proving resilient.” He added, “We continue to expect a freight recession, and an eventual economic recession (mild to medium in magnitude), but OEMs at this point have clear visibility to a strong 1H’23 (barring any unforeseen cataclysmic events).”

About medium-duty (MD) orders, he added, “MD demand was solid, albeit against somewhat challenging comps. Over the past 12 months, the MD market has seen 232,700 orders booked.”

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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Click below to access:

More information about ACT’s Classes 5–8 reports.

Information about other ACT Research publications.

November’s State of the Industry: Classes 5–8 Vehicles Preliminary press release.

November’s State of the Industry: Classes 5–8 Vehicles press release.

ACT’s In the News page.

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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.