COLUMBUS, Ind. – Preliminary data from ACT Research shows the industry booked 21,300 Class 8 trucks, an expected decline and off 43% year-over-year.
But the year set a new record, with 490,100 units booked in 2018.
“For all of 2018, Class 8 orders totaled 490,100 units, far outstripping the previous annual order tally set in 2004 at 390,000 units, with orders averaging 40,800 units a month last year,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Owing to its status as the strongest order month of the year, seasonal adjustment is always unkind to Class 8 orders in December, dropping the month’s volume to a 25-month low of 17,300 units. It is important to put slowing orders into context. With a 300,000-plus unit backlog and a solidly booked build schedule, the drop in orders is in-line with expectations.”
Classes 5-7 orders moderated into the end of the year, ACT reported.
“After robust orders in November, Classes 5-7 orders moderated into the end of the year, falling to a six-month low of 21,500 units, and a considerable drop from the 25,200 unit-per-month average the medium-duty industry enjoyed throughout 2018,” Vieth added. “Seasonality is not a factor in December for medium duty vehicles, but the month’s orders had the ignominy of being the first negative year-over-year comparison in 15 months, falling 4.6% compared to December 2017.”