Data tracked by ACT Research Co. (ACT) indicates Class 8 net orders slipped to 18,078 units in February, down 42% year-over-year, while Class 5-7 net orders topped 22,316 units – the highest order rate since December 2014 at 22,316 units.
“The commercial vehicle industry, primarily the heavy truck segment, continues to struggle with adjustments in response to last year’s optimism and resulting overshoot,” noted Jim Meil, ACT’s principal industry analyst, in a statement.
“Problems persist with excess freight-hauling capacity, a weak freight pricing environment, and the overstock of heavy-duty trucks at dealerships,” he added.
Meil stressed that there are “bright spots” in the Class 8 segment, based largely on “anecdotal information” from motor carriers, but that such “spots” are tentative and may take time to impart positive momentum to the market.
“Meanwhile, medium duty is well positioned for continued steady growth into 2016,” he noted, attributing that “steadiness” to healthy consumer balance sheets, rising new home construction, improved state and local government budgets, and an absence of overbuying.