ACT Research reported that North American Class 8 net orders totaled 34,735 units in April. While below the 492k SAAR of the first quarter’s orders, April’s 421k SAAR continues the trend of order activity well above industry capacity.
“As has been the case through the past seven months of rising backlog, the U.S. and Canada were the primary drivers of April’s market strength. Canada was the only market to experience a [month-over-month] gain, and the 5,815 units booked represented the country’s largest monthly order intake since early 2006,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst. “At the North American level, tractors and trucks both saw net orders decelerate at roughly comparable levels in April, with tractor orders down 25% from March, while vocational activity slid 26%. After a strong March, Class 8 production took a step backward in April.”
Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth said, “Medium duty orders fell 4,500 units month-over-month in April to 24,917 units. Seasonally adjusted, orders continued like clockwork, with the past three months of orders separated by 115 units.”
Through April, medium duty orders were up 25% compared to the first four months of 2017.
Vieth added, “The heavier end of the medium duty market continues to outperform the lighter end, with Class 5 orders in April improving 4% year-to-date and the Classes 6-7 April orders bringing that segment’s [year-to-date] rise to 37%.”
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