Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data show the industry booked 15,800 units in January, down 26% from December and 68% from year-ago January, according to the latest numbers from ACT Research.
Note that these numbers are preliminary. Complete industry data for January, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-February.
“With near-record backlogs in both the medium and heavy-duty vehicle markets, order activity continued to moderate in January. During the month, NA Classes 5-8 vehicle orders fell to an 18-month low 39,200 units,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. “Regarding Class 8, recall that January 2018 marked the point at which orders went vertical. We view this January’s order softness as having more to do with pulled-forward orders and a very large Class 8 backlog than with the current supply-demand balance. Softening freight growth and strong Class 8 capacity additions suggest that the supply-demand balance will become a story in 2019, but January seems a premature start to that tale.”
About medium duty orders, Vieth commented, “NA Classes 5-7 orders rose sequentially to start the year on trend at 23,400 units. Over the last six months of 2018, MD orders averaged 23,300 units per month. While up sequentially, January’s orders had the ignominy of being compared to one of the best order months in history, January 2018. Classes 5-7 net orders fell 24% year-over-year, the first negative comparison in 16 months.”
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