ACT Research reports April Class 8 orders above industry capacity

Updated May 18, 2018

North American Class 8 net orders totaled 34,735 units in April. While below the 492,000 seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of Q1’s orders, April’s 421,000 SAAR continues the trend of order activity well above industry capacity, ACT Research reported Thursday.

“As has been the case through the past seven months of rising backlog, the U.S. and Canada were the primary drivers of April’s market strength. Canada was the only market to experience a [month-over-month] gain, and the 5,815 units booked represented the country’s largest monthly order intake since early 2006,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst.

“At the North American level, tractors and trucks both saw net orders decelerate at roughly comparable levels in April, with tractor orders down 25 percent from March, while vocational activity slid 26 percent. After a strong March, Class 8 production took a step backward in April,” Vieth adds.

Regarding the medium-duty markets, Vieth says, “Medium-duty orders fell 4,500 units month-over-month in April to 24,917 units. Seasonally adjusted, orders continued like clockwork, with the past three months of orders separated by 115 units.”

Through year-to-date April, medium-duty orders were up 25 percent compared to the first four months of 2017. “The heavier end of the medium-duty market continues to outperform the lighter end, with Class 5 orders in April improving 4 percent year-to-date and the Classes 6-7 April orders bringing that segment’s year-to-date rise to 37 percent,” Vieth says.

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