ACT Research: May’s Class 8 Orders Continue Above-Capacity Trend

ACT Research reported that North American Class 8 net orders totaled 35,608 units in May. While below the 492,000 SAAR of Q1/18’s orders, May’s 478,000 SAAR continues the trend of order activity well above industry capacity.

“Continuing to be led by Canada and the U.S., order strength remained broad-based. NA tractor orders were up 125% [year-over-year] in May, while the vocational side of the market saw orders rise 86%,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst. “Class 8 production remained constrained in May due to parts-specific production constraints. We have heard anecdotes that there are thousands of red-tagged (off-the-assembly-line but incomplete) units waiting to be finished. Stagnating build rates coupled with still-strong orders have pushed the backlog to just below the March 2006 peak, at 219,600 units.”

Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth said, “May’s medium duty orders were virtually a carbon copy of April at 24,534 units. Seasonally adjusted, orders were at a four-month high 25,100 units. The heavier end of the medium duty market continues to outperform the lighter end, with Class 5 orders in May improving 3% year-to-date and the Classes 6-7 May orders bringing that segment’s [year-to-date] rise to 33%.”

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