Net orders for heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles rose to 11,285 units in March, up 28 percent from March 2009, according to ACT Research Co. (ACT).
In the latest release of the State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles, ACT indicated that current month and year-to-date net order gains are strong, but they come off a very weak 2009 period. While expectations for orders during the first quarter were low due to the implementation of the EPA2010 emissions mandate, the last two months have been stronger than anticipated. Medium-duty Class 5-7 net orders also grew by 20 percent from March 2009.
“The combination of the introduction of higher-priced new engine technology and a weak used truck market continue to restrain demand for new commercial vehicles,” said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT. “However, an improving economy is shrinking the excess hauling capacity in the trucking sector, which will lead to improving profits and the need to replace an aging fleet.”