October 2010 net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles for North American markets were 18,914 units, up 24% month-over-month from September, according to ACT Research Co. Medium-duty Classes 5-7 net orders also gained sequentially, posting 19% month-over-month growth.
In the latest release of the State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles, ACT noted that the Class 8 net orders were the second-highest monthly total since April 2008. Only a brief one month surge in October 2009 produced greater net orders, as some carriers sought to get the last of lower priced engines in advance of an EPA emission mandate that raised the price of new heavy-duty vehicles by about $10,000.
“While September gave a hint to increasing demand for Class 8 equipment, October orders provided the strongest sign yet that the transportation sector recognizes the need to replace aging equipment,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “With production of equipment rising only slightly in October, the order backlog is now 29% above its trough earlier this year, a sign that the commercial vehicle manufacturing sector is getting healthier.”