According to preliminary data from ACT Research, net orders for North American Class 8 trucks reached 36,800 units in September, marking a 67% month-over-month increase and the strongest order month of the past year. Meanwhile, net orders for Classes 5-7 were more trend-like, rising 13% month over month to 23,100 units. Complete industry data for September, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-October.
“Between reports of falling carrier income and margins, still sloshy load-to-truck ratios, weak spot rates reported by DAT, and a sense over the past six weeks or so that the U.S. economy’s year-to-date outperformance was starting to lose some momentum, we were unsure how the market would respond when the 2024 orderboards officially opened,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, said. “One thing we did know was that nearly all the August-ending Class 8 backlog was scheduled for build in 2023, so strong orders are imperative for the industry to maintain current strong production rates very far into 2024. While it is too early to infer much from September orders, data from the OEMs confirm the ‘season’ started on the right foot.”
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