Preliminary North American Class 8 orders were 37,500 in December, up 15% over November and 76% over a year ago, according to ACT Research.
“The last month of 2017 was the best monthly order intake since December 2014,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst.
Class 5-8 net order data show the industry booked 58,800 units in December, bringing the full-year net order tally to 543,400. The December order volume represents an 11% improvement from November and a 35% improvement from December 2016.
Class 5-7 orders were steady in December, although mixed.
“Preliminary data indicate that Class 5-7 net orders inched higher from November to 21,300 units. However, on a year-over-year basis, orders dropped 3.7%,” said Vieth. “For all of 2017, NA MD Classes 5-7 orders totaled 249,700 units.”
December is usually a strong month for orders, but the holidays constrain production. Based on the spread between preliminary December orders and the Build Plans from last month’s State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Vehicles report, the MD backlog likely grew by around 7,500 units while the Class 8 backlog should see another 18,500 units added. Note that the data never quite align month to month, so there may be some variability when final data is collected.