Despite growing supply chain challenges, Class 8 market stays hot

Preliminary Class 8 truck orders fell by 10 percent last month to 40,000 units, ACT Research reported Friday.

The monthly total marked the sixth consecutive month the Class 8 market has met the 40,000 unit threshold  March’s total also was 424 percent better than March 2020, which marked the first month decimated by COVID-19 market conditions.

"Fanning the flames of an already robust economy, $1.9 trillion in additional stimulus has started filtering its way into consumers’ pocketbooks," says Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president. "The prospect of a $2 trillion infrastructure bill has consumers and businesses setting their sights higher for both the near- and mid-terms. And, included in that outlook appears to be a need for an increasing number of commercial vehicles."

The Class 5-7 market had an even stronger month, climbing up 19 percent from February to 31,400 units.

"Despite retrenching from February, Class 8 demand remained strong in March, well above replacement and even anticipated economic growth, let alone the industry’s ability to keep pace in the current supply chain constrained environment," says Tam. "In similar bullish fashion, consumer demand, fueled at least in part by the optimism associated with the nearly $2 trillion in recently approved stimulus, has caused buyers of medium-duty commercial vehicles to remain at the demand trough for yet another month. This is particularly interesting, given the medium-duty’s second fiddle position in the supply chain pecking order."

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