ACT sees commercial truck cancellations spike

16 December 2021

With the exception of a month here and there, Class 8 truck cancellations have been at non-event levels since the month after the pandemic started, at about a 5.7% order cancellation rate since April 2020. However, October and November data, highlighted in the company’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Report, tell a new and different story.

truck manufacturing

“Between this month’s cancellations and the restatement of October’s volume, we have to go all the way back to Q3 1995 to find a month, or two, to rival current cancellation volumes,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s resident and Senior Analyst. “In November, cancellations jumped to a second-highest ever 18,874 units. October’s cancellation volume was restated to 16,938 units. Order cancellation rates for the two months rise to 42% and 66%, respectively, and as a percentage of the Class 8 backlog, November’s cancellations were 7.1%.”

“In addition to Class 8, medium-duty cancellation rates were also higher this month, with the cancellation volumes rising to a 13-plus year high 4545 units. With still strong new order intake, the cancellation rate jumped to 19-month high 16.5%.”

Data aside, Vieth noted, “that unlike previous periods of elevated cancellation activity, this massive spike in cancellations was driven not by customers saying, ‘I don’t need that truck’, but rather by the OEMs who have been unable to build and deliver backlogged orders in a timely fashion. Because of the ‘everything shortage’ that has plagued industry production since early in the year, considerable volumes of planned 2021 units have had to be cancelled and rebooked as new model year units scheduled to be built in 2022. Again, we reiterate, these are not cancellations driven by flagging new vehicle demand, which remains rock-solid.”

ACT Research is recognized as a leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets.

The presentation by ACT’s Ann Rundle on “The Growth of Commercial Electric Vehicles,” from the 2021 Diesel Progress Summit – and all the rest of the Summit presentations – is available for purchase at the on-demand area of

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