Preliminary Class 8 net new orders were a record 43,100 in January, according to ACT Research – well above its forecast of 38,000-40,000.
The prior high was 40,331 orders in November 2004. Year-over-year, Class 8 net new orders were up 32.3% in January (vs. up 7.1% in December and down 23.4% in November), the largest year-over-year increase since December 2004.
ACT Research believes the order strength was broad-based across OEMs and market segments, and that pre-buy orders drove the upside, as carriers see the EPA's January 1, 2007, diesel engine emissions standard approaching quickly.
ACT Research also believes a strong peak freight season, more stable diesel, and improving trucker bankruptcies also contributed to January's strength, and that orders may remain strong (40,000+) through April/May, until 2006 build slots are sold out.