Class 8 net orders were just over 24,600 units in March, while Classes 5-7 posted 20,800 net orders.
These results were published in the latest State of the Industry report, recently released by ACT Research Co. (ACT). The report covers Classes 5 through 8 vehicles for the North American market.
Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst, notes that the seasonally adjusted, March’s Class 8 tally was the second lowest in the past 16 months, but context is the biggest issue.
“A 300,000 unit annualized rate of order placement represents solid support for an industry already sitting on nearly seven months of unbuilt orders,” he says. “Context is required at the other end of the data spectrum, as well. The first quarter represents three of the four weakest sales months of the year. Despite softness in the actual data, on a seasonally adjusted basis Class 8 retail sales in Q1 occurred at a strong 335,000 unit SAAR.”
Concerning medium-duty demand, Vieth says: “The M-D market rode strong truck and bus orders to a sixth year-over-year gain in the past seven months. Of those six beats, five were double-digit gains, including a 14% order improvement in March versus last year. March represented the fourth best order month since second half of 2006.”