North American heavy-duty GVW Class 8 commercial vehicle preliminary net orders for July, as reported by ACT Research Co LLC, were below trend, while Classes 5-7 net orders bounced back above the long-run order trend. The final numbers, which will be released mid-August, will approach 12,900 units for heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and 14,800 for medium-duty Classes 5-7 vehicles. The preliminary net order numbers are typically accurate to within 5% of actual.
“Class 8 orders fell below our near-term expectations, even when adjusted for seasonality,” says Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT Research. “Seasonal adjustment pushes July’s Class 8 net orders total from the actual 12,900 units to 15,400 units. In Q2, net orders averaged 17,300 units per month, even as Class 8 builds averaged 26,000 units. As has been the case since late February/early March, the order weakness appears to boil down to confidence in the economy relative to the risk of taking out a sizeable loan to buy a truck.
“Positively, Class 8 cancellations remained at low levels and retail sales were strong through Q2, reflecting the continued support of large trucking concerns. The big public carriers posted strong profits on modest revenue growth in Q2. These data points and others suggest that as the economy firms and the outlook becomes less opaque, demand should return to pre-soft-patch levels.”