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Medium Duty Demand Slowed, while Class 8 Order Intake Improved in September

| October 4, 2019

Little has changed since August with respect to the freight market and freight rates

Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data show the industry booked 12,600 units in September, up 13% from August, while Classes 5-7 orders fell 9.4% m/m, to 17,300 units. Note that these numbers are preliminary. Complete industry data for September, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-October.

ACT’s State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales, and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6-7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6-7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs, and step van configurations, while Class 8 is segmented by trucks  and tractors with and without sleeper cabs. This report includes a six-month industry build plan, backlog timing analysis, historical data from 1996 to the present in spreadsheet format, and a ready-to-use graph package. A first-look at preliminary net orders is also published in conjunction with this report.

“Little has changed since August with respect to the freight market and freight rates, while uncertainties surrounding trade and tariffs continue to weigh on truck buyers’ psyches,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s Vice-President. He continued, “Fleet overcapacitization has led to reduced utilization, with all the foregoing considerations conspiring to undermine demand.”

Regarding the medium duty market, Tam explained, “Previously a picture of stability, the medium duty market marked a sixth consecutive month of below-trend net order activity in September, which is more a recognition of the outsized strength of the market in the not-too-distance past than a comment on its current state. Nonetheless, demand is slowing, setting up expectations for a small decline next year.”

Category: Featured, General Update, News

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