The Class 8 truck market ended 2015 with a bang, according to information from ACT Research, the Indiana-based analyst of the North American and Chinese commercial vehicle markets. There were 28,150 net new orders for Class 8 in December, while Class 5 through Class 7 posted 22,450 net orders.
“Most notable was the U.S. Class 8 sleeper tractor segment, which had its best production and sales year in history,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president, Commercial Vehicle Sector. “Carriers anxious to take advantage of more fuel efficient trucks, spurred by strong freight rate growth in the first part of the year, get the nod as the drivers behind the story.”
Tam added that 2016 is expected to be a different situation. “Faced with excess freight hauling capacity and slowing freight growth, freight rates have softened to the point where many truckers are now taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to more new equipment,” he said.
On the medium-duty side, Tam said that, “Class 5 build and sales were the highlights of 2015, setting a record for the best year ever. Classes 6-7, on the other hand, failed to register in the top 10, with 2015 arriving in 13th place.
“The class 5-7 market closed 2015 on a high note, with orders up more than 4% compared to 2014.”