Class 8 truck orders ended 2022 on a strong note, at 30,300 units, according to preliminary data from ACT Research.
Classes 5-7 orders totaled 17,700 units.
“At first glance, December’s seasonally adjusted intake was 4% below the year-to-date monthly average heading into the month,” said Eric Crawford, vice-president and senior analyst with ACT Research.
“On the surface, and when combined with a 26% month over month m decline on a seasonally adjusted basis, that might suggest some weakening in demand. But when factoring in the year-end seasonal uptick in orders began a month ahead of schedule this year (in September), which skewed the year-to-date seasonally adjusted average upward, and that September orders represented the highest monthly total on record, we’re inclined to view December’s order intake as a solid end to a robust final four months of the year.”
Crawford characterized medium-duty orders as “decent,” though down 17% from November. Total December numbers were weighed down by large cancellations -– a multi-quarter correction in reports — from one OEM.
FTR, meanwhile, reported preliminary Class 8 orders of 28,300 units, down 21% from November but up 25% year over year.
Jonathan Starks, FTR’s chief executive officer and chief intelligence officer, said “Backlogs are still elevated but not at such a level that they can sustain significant deterioration without impacting production output. Despite these concerns, essentially all the production slots for the first half of the year are full and the second half of the year is starting to fill up as well. The heavy vehicle market remains strong despite economic and financial uncertainties, and production will still be limited to some extent by supply chains and labor.”
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