ACT: Heavy, Medium Duty Orders Rise to 19-Month High in March

According to data from ACT Research, net orders for Classes 5-8 trucks rose to a 16-month high of 47,300 units in March. That aggregate volume represents a 19% improvement compared to last March. Note that these numbers are preliminary.

North American Class 8 net orders fell 100 units from February to 23,100 units. With a nominal, but positive, seasonal factor, adjustment boosts the month’s order intake to 23,400 units, an increase of 2% from February’s adjusted total.

“Against easy comps, March Class 8 orders were up 42% compared to March 2016,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “On a seasonally adjusted basis, orders were booked at a 267,000 unit SAAR in the first quarter.”

Preliminary, data show that North American Classes 5-7 net orders rose to 24,200 units in March, an increase of 5% from February and 3% from a year ago. While those comparisons were modest, March’s preliminary order volume represented the biggest medium duty order month in just over nine years, or since February 2008.

“Since March is a seasonally strong order month, seasonal adjustment docks the month’s order volume to 22,200 units,” Vieth said. “Using this methodology, March orders failed to eclipse the January 2017 tally.”

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