Preliminary Classes 5-8 data for March indicate industry net orders rose to a 16-month high at 47,300 units—a 19% improvement compared to last March.
North American Class 8 net orders fell 100 units from February to 23,100 units. With a nominal, but positive, seasonal factor, adjustment boosts the month’s order intake to 23,400 units, an increase of 2% from February’s adjusted total.
“Against easy comps, March Class 8 orders were up 42% compared to March 2016,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “On a seasonally adjusted basis, orders were booked at a 267,000 unit SAAR in the first quarter.”
Preliminary, data show that North American Classes 5-7 net orders rose to 24,200 units in March, an increase of 5% from February and 3% from a year ago. While those comparisons were modest, March’s preliminary order volume represented the biggest MD order month in just over nine years, or since February 2008.
“Since March is a seasonally strong order month, seasonal adjustment docks the month’s order volume to 22,200 units,” said Vieth. “Using this methodology, March orders failed to eclipse the January 2017 tally.”