ACT Research: May Class 8 Net Orders Unseasonally High, Inventories Rising Quickly

Some of the recent Class 8 order strength is likely due to a small amount of prebuying, but, overall, May’s orders are likely anomalous as the industry is in the weakest period of the year for orders, and carrier profitability remains at multicycle lows, as published in ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report.

Final North American Class 8 net orders totaled an unseasonally high 23,560 units in May (29,200 seasonally adjusted), up 51% year over year. Total Classes 5-7 orders fell 4.9% year over year to 19,306 units (20.9k seasonally adjusted).

“U.S. Class 8 tractor orders rose 51% year over year in May, and vocational truck orders increased 48% year over year,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, said. “Again, these increases are largely untethered from current market conditions, and we expect next month’s orders to be more representative of the current market.”

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