ACT: October NA Class 8 Net Orders Moderated; Used Class 8 Volumes Recover

At the top line, NA Class 8 net orders totaled 43,256 units in October, a moderation from the July-August records, but 21% better than the year-ago mark, according to ACT Research.

“Class 8 net order activity experienced a second consecutive month of ‘moderation’ in October, meaning it was below all-time record highs set in July and August. Demand remains elevated, well above expectations based on replacement and as justified by the current economic and freight growth environment,” said Steve Tam, ACT Research’s vice president. “Of particular interest this month is the spike in order cancellations, which removed about 10,850 orders from the backlog. As a percentage of the backlog, the more salient metric in our view, the cancellation rate was 3.6%.”

Regarding the medium duty markets, Tam commented, “Medium duty demand remained a picture of consistency in October, not straying far from trend. Orders retrenched, falling about 800 units from September, but aligned with the past 12 months’ 24,500-unit order average. In further testament to the stability of the medium duty market, build and sales both rose 3% sequentially, solidifying their year-to-date gains of 8% and 7%, respectively.”

Used Class 8 Volumes

Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) reversed course again in October, rising 10% month over month and offsetting September’s 10% decline, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research. The report also indicated used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes rose 9% year over year. Average mileage dropped 1% and average age declined 2% from a year ago.

“Analysis of the individual market channels revealed that all three segments (auction, retail and wholesale) posted month-over-month gains, up 81%, 5%, and 2%, respectively,” said Tam. “Longer term, the retail and auction markets rose 21% and 3% on a year-over-year basis, with the wholesale market contracting 21% by comparison.”

Regarding prices, Tam added, “The average used Class 8 selling price recorded a sixth straight month above the trend reading. On a yearly basis, prices continue to enjoy meaningful growth.”

ACT’s Classes 3-8 Used Truck Report provides data on the average selling price, miles, and age based on a sample of industry data. In addition, the report provides the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs – Freightliner (Daimler), Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar), International (Navistar) and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).

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