COLUMBUS, Ind. — There were 20,025 net orders for Class 8 trucks in March, the lowest monthly order volume since last July.
ACT Research reported the numbers in its latest State of the Industry report, covering Classes 5-8 vehicle orders throughout North America.
“Class 8 demand, as expressed by incoming orders in February and March, has hit a soft patch,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT. “There was a tax-driven pre-buy at the end of 2011, and dealers added larger than seasonal stocks in Q1 ahead of rising model year 2013 new truck prices. For a lot of truckers, the gap between new and used prices remains particularly large.
“Given all of the above, plus rising diesel prices through Q1, it is not too hard to see why the industry has softened. However, we think a continuation of reasonable freight growth, strong trucker profits, and healthy used truck prices will push demand higher once the current period of uncertainty is worked through,” he added.
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