North American Class 8 truck orders in July were higher than expected, with just over 24,600 net orders, while Class 5-7 trucks were up over last year, with 15,900 net orders, according to ACT Research Co. It recently published its latest State of the Industry report that covers Class 5 through 8 activity.
Midway through the third quarter, the economy and freight markets are hitting cross-currents and generating mixed signals, explains Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.
“In July, Class 8 orders broke to the high side of expectations for the first time since February, producing seasonally adjusted net orders to 29,600,” he said. “Helping drive the high-side outcome in July was a large press-release worthy 9,000 unit, multi-year order, but even if this is excluded, July’s orders were well ahead of expectations.”
Concerning medium duty, Vieth said, “On balance, the Classes 5-7 market saw orders improve from June to July, with broad-based strength in Classes 6-7 orders (up 7% year-to-year) offsetting weakness in Class 5 orders, which were down 12% y/y.
“The improvement in Classes 6-7 orders would have been stronger but for a sharp drop in step van orders versus a one-off order last July.”