Class 8 orders start year on down note

by Truck News

COLUMBUS, Ind. – The North American trucking industry booked 15,800 Class 8 trucks in January, down 26% from December and 68% off last January’s pace.

Preliminary data from ACT Research also showed medium-duty orders rising to 23,400 units.

“With near-record backlogs in both the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle markets, order activity continued to moderate in January. During the month, North American Classes 5-8 vehicle orders fell to an 18-month low 39,200 units,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.

“Regarding Class 8, recall that January 2018 marked the point at which orders went vertical. We view this January’s order softness as having more to do with pulled-forward orders and a very large Class 8 backlog than with the current supply-demand balance. Softening freight growth and strong Class 8 capacity additions suggest that the supply-demand balance will become a story in 2019, but January seems a premature start to that tale.”

Medium-duty orders have averaged 23,300 units per month over the last half of 2018. Classes 5-7 orders were down 24% year-over-year, but January 2018 was the one of the best order months in history.

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