North American Class 8 preliminary net orders for February rose sequentially and year-over-year, narrowly besting October 2012 to reach their highest reading since January 2012.
The final numbers, which will be released mid-March, will approach 23,300 units for Class 8 and 16,400 for medium-duty Classes 5-7 vehicles and trucks. The preliminary net order numbers are typically accurate to within 5% of actual.
“With Class 8 build in February below 20,000 units, backlogs should rise once again,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT Research. “On a seasonally adjusted basis, February’s Class 8 net orders were 22,900 units, in a dead heat for the best reading in the past year.
“Medium-duty orders easily outpaced both January 2013 and February 2012. February’s volume was up 13% versus last year. Similar to the Class 8 market, Classes 5-7 net orders above February’s build expectations suggests backlogs are likely to have moved higher.”