ACT: North American Order Surge in October Raises Backlog

As reported earlier this month, orders for Class 8 vehicles surged in October, rising to a 35-month high of 36,033 units.

“Following a high-side breakout in September, Class 8 orders exploded in October as large fleets returned to the U.S. market, and the Canadian market remained red hot,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s president and senior analyst.

Strong orders also boosted backlogs by nearly 11,000 units to 105,200 last month.

“Coupled with a modestly slower October build rate, the Class 8 backlog-build ratio jumped to 91 days,” Vieth noted. “On a monthly basis, the backlog grew 60bps to 4.3 months. Despite the improvement, October’s backlog remained low by historical standards.”

Production moderated in October from September’s rate, perhaps due to the decline in the backlog/build ratio.

“Looking forward, build plans indicate production will slow into year-end, averaging just 1,114 units per day in Q4 compared to 1,172 per day in Q3,” Vieth said.

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