ACT: September NA Class 8 Orders Down Sequentially, Up Y/Y

At the top line, NA Class 8 net orders totaled 42,781 units in September, a 19% decline from August’s all-time record, but still the seventh time in nine months in which industry orders cracked 40,000 units, according to ACT Research.

“We expect orders to remain strong in coming months, with backlog growth expected in Q4. However, it is our belief that July and August represent the high-water mark for orders in the current cycle, based on monthly data reporting,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT. “Even at September’s inflated build rate, it would still take the industry 189 days to build down the backlog. And regarding September’s build strength, which was well above build plans, it is our belief that much of the surprise was related to the finishing of incomplete units.”

Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth commented, “Demand for Classes 5-7 vehicles continued within well-defined Goldilocksian parameters in September. Orders gained momentum, ending the month at 24,709 units. Medium duty backlogs reversed course in September, rising 1,300 units month-over-month, but this was overshadowed by higher build rates, causing the BL/BU ratio to drop two days to 3.2 months.”

ACT is the recognized leading publisher of new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the China CV market.

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