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Truck builders reducing inventories

Production should realign with demand in 2017, ACT Research reports


COLUMBUS, Ind. – Truck producers are making progress in reducing inventories, which should see production realign with demand in 2017.

That according to ACT Research, in its analysis of December and full-year 2016 truck production volumes.

North American Class 8 retail sales firmed at the end of 2016, ACT reports, rising to a six-month high of 21,281 units sold. That brought the total for 2016 to 249,952 units. A total of 228,347 Class 8 trucks were built during the year. Strong December sales coupled with modest production, reduced the industry’s inventory overhang by 6,300 units, ACT reports.

The year ended with a 36-month low inventory of 44,865 units.

“Going forward, the big inventory pulldown into the end of the year, and the full-year inventory correction, will allow industry production to more closely align itself with demand,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst.

Classes 5-7 orders ended the year strong, rising above 20,000 units for only the second time since April. In December, net orders reached a nine-month high of 22,083 units.

The consistency in medium duty vehicle orders the past two years is almost unheard of, and there is little to suggest a change of trend in 2017, ACT says.

“Given that consumer-related medium-duty economic drivers remain largely unchanged, our expectations are for more of the same in terms of MD demand in 2017,” said Vieth.


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