Class 8 Truck Sales in January ‘Relatively Weak’

According to ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report, January heavy-duty orders were relatively weak, but it remains to be seen whether this represented a pause after robust year-end orders, or the beginning of a more broad-based pullback in demand. Notably, both heavy-duty and medium-duty seasonally adjusted retail sales were robust.

“Heavy-duty retail sales rose 29% year over year to 29,200 units (23,765 nominal). The 1,389-upd rate was 22.9% ahead of the year-ago rate, 15.5% above the full-year 2022 average, and up 4.5% month to month.” Eric Crawford, vice president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said. “Classes 5-7 retail sales rose 6.1% year over year to 20,800 units (17,669 nominal). The 993-upd rate was 1.0% ahead of the year-ago rate, 10.3% above the sales rate averaged throughout 2022 and up 15.1% month to month.”

Business activity in the truck industry rolls on, with retail sales seemingly unphased by higher interest rates, as pent-up demand remains, for now. We expect this dynamic to shift in Q2/23, as the Fed continues its aggressive push to subdue inflation.”

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