ACT: Strong November Class 8 Orders Supported by Demand Coming Out of Mexico

Final November Class 8 net orders, at 41,732 units, were up 28% year over year, with tractor orders up 20% and vocational equipment orders up 60% on ongoing pent-up demand, as published in ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report.

“There may be some pent-up demand remaining for tractors. If so, and given freight rates, it remains largely with private fleets,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT, said. “An increasingly important contributor to strong order numbers is vehicle demand coming out of Mexico, where tractor orders were up over 150% year over year. Truck demand remains red hot, as vocational markets have been underserved the past few years.

“Despite two less days in November, Class 8 build increased 4% year over year to 28,400 units,” Vieth said. “Classes 5-7 production benefitted from some make-up activity following October’s strike-constrained output, rising 11% month over month to 24,200 units.

“Class 8 inventory levels remained in a very narrow band for about half of 2023 but have risen in each of the past five months,” Vieth said. “Totaling 67,209 units, inventory was up 12% year over year. The increased inventory tracks with lower tractor retail sales, particularly in the U.S. market where weak freight volumes have started to constrain for-hire fleet demand. Classes 5-7 inventories remain highly elevated at 82,969 units, as MD bodybuilder labor challenges persist.”

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