There were 20,200 Class 8 truck orders in August, beating projections from earlier in the month but well below last year’s numbers, according to ACT Research.
Class 5-7 orders hit 17,900 units for the month — down compared with last August but up from the previous month.
Overall, ACT Research’s senior analyst and president Kenny Vieth found the August numbers distressing, including other data points like low production, high order cancellations and a low number of built slots for the quarter.
“While some items are more worrisome than others, they are interrelated and reflective of underwhelming domestic economic activity,” said Vieth. “Add to that, a product denominated in a strong U.S. dollar is adding drag on Class 8 demand on top of soft Canadian and Mexican economies.”
The Class 5-7 market has a brighter outlook, with demand at a slow and steady pace. A surge in Class 5 orders is carrying the segment and offsetting a weaker Class 6-7 market.
“Although the Classes 5-7 market saw orders improve 16% from July to August, aggregated they were down 1.4% year-over-year,” said Vieth. “Strength in the Class 5 market was across the board, while trucks and buses conspired to drag down Classes 6-7 orders in August.”