According to ACT Research, Q1/18 was the second-best quarter in history in terms of North American Class 8 orders. Orders averaged 45,400 units per month and in March, orders doubled their year-ago effort, with 46,780 net orders hitting the books.
“Like 2006, 2018 has the same economic/freight component, rising carrier profitability component and also a significant regulatory component that impacted the broader market, if in starkly different ways,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research. “An evolving differentiator is the driver shortage, which is moving from a conditional to a structural component of the market, and we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the powerful force that was the tax cut.”
Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth said, “The MD market had another solid month, beginning with stellar order intake. March’s orders, at 29,287 units, notched their second-best level since July 2006.”
Seasonally adjusting the outsized performance knocked Classes 5-7 orders down to 24,700 units.
“We continue to believe that strong demand in the lease/rental market has led to a mini pull forward in demand and expect to see order activity slow meaningfully in the next month or two,” Vieth said.
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