According to ACT Research Co., September’s 15,231 net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles amounted to a 37% rise from the same month last year. In its State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles, the firm also reported that the seasonally adjusted net orders for September were the second-highest monthly total for the past two years. ACT also found that for September, medium-duty Class 5-7 truck orders were up 17% from the previous September.
“Not only was September the second-best order month [for Class 8], the uptick in orders occurred in what is typically a below average month,” said Kenny Vieth, president & senior analyst. “Apply September’s seasonal factor, and Class 8 net orders occurred at a nearly 200,000 unit annual rate. This level of orders is a continuation of the steady increase in demand we have seen building since early this year.”
Even as Class 8 orders moved higher, Vieth pointed out that total medium-duty Class 5-7 orders—trucks and buses combined—“moved in the opposite direction.” Vieth explained that a fall-off in school bus orders in September was the “primary driver of both sequential and year-over-year declines in Class 5-7 vehicle net orders, down 27% from September 2009.
However, Vieth stressed that “looking at just the truck piece of the Class 5-7 market, September net orders were up 17% from a year ago”.
And a byline piece by Christie Schweinsberg in FleetOwner sister publication Ward’s Automotive Reports said that total medium- and heavy-duty trucks sales in the U.S. “climbed 16.7% on September, but still feel short of August’s 22.7% increase.” Ward’s said “all groups but Classes 4 and 7 posted gains, with Class 6 up a whopping 111%” from a year ago.
According to Ward’s, Class 8 sales rose 20.7% “with all but two manufacturers seeing increases.” Daimler AG’s Freightliner Trucks unit “posted a segment-best 72.3% hike, while International Truck and Engine Corp.’s 10% drop was the largest in Class 8,” said the publication.
“Medium-duty sales rose 12.6% on the large Class 6 gain and a 44.1% increase in Class 5,” said the publication, “offsetting Class 4 [sales down 56.7%] and 7 losses [down just 4.8%].” on.
Summing up, Ward’s noted that through September, “medium- and heavy-duty truck U.S. sales of 158,008 units were 12% ahead of like-2009” figures.