ACT Research reported Thursday North American Class 8 net orders totaled 52,629 units in July, marking the fifth time in seven months in which industry orders cracked 40,000 units.
“Making July’s order intake more impressive is the fact that the month is typically the weakest of the year,” says Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research. “Much of the past two-month order surge is attributable to dealers booking build slots for 2019 and not to say that current order activity will not be converted into customer sales, it is worth noting that as lead times extend, orders are inherently more speculative.
“In the meantime, the industry continues to finish units that were not completed in Q2 owing to various parts shortages, with July’s build rising to 31,039 units.”
The numbers were strong though not quite as explosive in the medium-duty market, where Vieth says production “handily beat build plans for a sixth consecutive month in July” with a build total of 22,160 units.
“The build plan now anticipates full-year medium duty build at 270,500 units,” he says.