Class 8 booked 18,078 net orders in February, down 42% year over year, while Classes 5-7 net orders were the highest since December 2014 at 22,316 units, according to the latest State of the Industry report released by ACT Research Co. (ACT).
“The commercial vehicle industry, primarily the heavy truck segment, continues to struggle with adjustments in response to last year’s optimism and resulting overshoot,” said Jim Meil, ACT’s principal, industry analysts. “Problems persist with excess freight-hauling capacity, a weak freight pricing environment, and the overstock of heavy-duty trucks at dealerships.”
Meil said that there are bright spots, but that they are tentative and may take time to impart positive momentum to the market, citing anecdotal information and analyst conversations which suggest stronger-than-expected results at the start of the year, seemingly counter to the data.
“Meanwhile, medium duty is well positioned for continued steady growth into 2016,” said Meil. He attributed this to healthy consumer balance sheets, rising new home construction, improved state and local government budgets, and an absence of overbuying.