Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders in August were 19,500 units, down 4% from July, but up 75% from an easy year-ago comparison. The Class 5 through Class 7 market saw orders at a healthy 19,400 units, up 16% month-over-month, but 2% below their year-ago August volume. Complete industry data for August, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-September.
“Preliminary data show that August orders for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jumped to an eight-month high,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “That volume represented a 5% gain from July and a 26% improvement compared to year-ago August.
“The month’s orders marked a third consecutive positive reading, following a period where 18 of 19 consecutive months had negative year-over-year comparisons.”
Relating these facts to the North American heavy-duty market, Vieth said, “Considerable parked Class 8 tractor capacity, generous unemployment benefits, and consumers spending more on goods and less on experiences has created a perfect storm for carrier profits over the past several months. That convergence of positive factors pushed spot freight rates to record highs in August, and the rally in rates is reflected in the sustained rebound in new medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle demand.”
Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth said, “While still not cracking year-ago order levels, the medium-duty market is competing against tougher year-ago comparisons than the Class 8 market, but Classes 5-7 order levels remained healthy in August.”
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. 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.
Click here to see more information on ACT’s monthly reports.