Truck sales show signs of life

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicle net orders for July 2009 were the highest since November of 2008, but still down 38 percent year over year.

These statistics were published in the latest ACT Research State of the Industry report. Medium-duty Class 5 – 7 net orders were off 51 percent from the prior year, but were largely influenced by cancellation of orders due to General Motors exit from the segment.

All three North American heavy-duty markets showed signs of improvement. Mexico posted an 11-month high in orders and Canada has come off lows posted early in the year.

In the U.S., new orders were the highest of the year, but a rise in cancellations brought net orders back in-line with the recent run rate.

“It’s hard to get excited about order numbers that are very weak by historical standards, but still better than the extremely weak numbers of past months,” said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT. “On a positive note, inventories continue to decline. When demand eventually comes around, inventories will not be an impediment to higher production.”

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