Heavy duty orders drop in May

According to ACT Research, classes 5-8 net orders experienced a sequential decline in May, marking the second consecutive month that orders have dropped.

Orders fell 11 percent from April to 38,100 units.

“Differentiating May from April is the fact that all of the month-over-month decline in May resulted from a dramatic slowing in heavy duty order intake,” says Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “Despite the month-over-month decline, May’s combined HD and MD volume bested May 2016 by 20 percent.”

Seasonal adjustment in May, which typically kicks off the slowdown in the order season, bumped the seasonally adjusted tally up slightly from actual to 40,500 units.

At 16,800 units, the preliminary read on May’s North American Class 8 orders was the lowest in the past seven months, shrinking 30 percent month-over-month, but advancing 18 percent year-over-year.

“While the magnitude of the decline is greater than expected, the timing is spot on,” Tam says. “May is typically the time of the year when order intake drops below average.”

Preliminarily, North American Classes 5-7 orders jumped 13 percent from April and 22 percent from a year ago May, to 21,200 units.

“Medium duty orders saw a resurgence, though not quite to the level they enjoyed in the December to March time period,” Tam says. “As May tends to be a below average order month, seasonal adjustment boosts the month’s net order volume, which rises to 22,400 units.”

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