COLUMBUS, IN – Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data show the industry booked 10,900 units in August, up nearly 6% from July, but 79% below last August’s best-ever order month. Note that these numbers are preliminary. Complete industry data for August, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-September.
“Weak freight market and rate conditions and a still-large Class 8 backlog continue to bedevil new Class 8 order traffic. Though, with OEMs opening their new model-year order books, order weakness is increasingly the story of an overcapacitized Class 8 fleet, as truckers start to make their plans for 2020,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “August is typically a weak order month. Seasonal adjustment boosts the month’s intake to 12,500 units, a narrower 2.8% month-to-month improvement.”
Regarding the medium duty market, Vieth explained, “If the weakness in the Class 8 market is a reflection of broad softness in freight-intensive economic sectors, the modest downturn in Classes 5-7 order activity is more reflective of the still-healthy consumer economy in much of North America. Though, after a seven-year positive run and some inventory building, the MD is looking increasingly tired. In August, NA Classes 5-7 net orders were 18,800 units, up 10% from July, but down 22% y/y.”