Class 5-8 sales in March represented the fourth best order month since the second half of 2006, the latest State of the Industry report by ACT Research Co. (ACT).
Class 8 net orders were just over 24,600 units in March, while Classes 5-7 posted 20,800 net orders.
Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, noted that, seasonally adjusted, March’s Class 8 tally was the second-lowest in the past 16 months, but context is the biggest issue.
“A 300,000-unit annualized rate of order placement represents solid support for an industry already sitting on nearly 7 months of unbuilt orders.”
Context is required at the other end of the data spectrum, as well, he added.
“The first quarter represents three of the four weakest sales months of the year. Despite softness in the actual data, on a seasonally adjusted basis Class 8 retail sales in Q1 occurred at a strong 335,000 unit SAAR.”
Concerning medium duty, Vieth said, “The MD market rode strong truck and bus orders to a sixth year-over-year gain in the past seven months. Of those six beats, five were double-digit gains, including a 14% order improvement in March versus last year.”