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Medium-duty orders accelerate while Class 8 orders slow: ACT Research


COLUMBUS, Ind. — November truck orders indicate a growing Classes 5-7 market and weakening Class 8 demand, according to ACT Research.

There were 16,770 net new orders for Class 8 trucks in November, while Classes 5-7 orders came in at 18,850 units.

Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst, noted that lingering weakness in the industrial economy coupled with strong capacity additions in 2015 have tilted the supply-demand equilibrium, driving broad-based weakness across markets in November and pushing Class 8 net orders to a volume last seen in Q3 2012.

“In November, North American net orders were 16,772 units, which translates to 15,200 units on a seasonally-adjusted basis. This is sharply below the prevailing SA order trend of ~23,000 units per month that was in place from April to October,” Vieth said.

“Despite the weakness that has gathered into year’s end, we expect that the industry will build over 320,000 units in 2015. And while backlogs will be smaller at the end of 2015 versus 2014, that backlog is expected to be the third largest year-ending backlog in a decade.”

Vieth noted the medium-duty market is heating up.

“Healthy consumer balance sheets, rising new home construction, improved state and local government budgets, and an absence of overbuying have the medium-duty segment well positioned for continued modest growth in 2016,” he said. “Collectively the Classes 5-7 market experienced another healthy month, with orders up 7% y/y. Classes 6-7 vehicles, up 10% y/y, were responsible for the lion’s share of November’s MD market gains.”

 


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