FTR has released preliminary data that shows those orders coming in at 25,605 units— marking a 14% year-over-year increase as well as the strongest May numbers since 2006.
“North American Class 5-8 orders totaled 41,900 units in May,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president & senior analyst. “Since last October, when the current period of stronger orders began, total Class 5-8 net orders have been booked at a 547,200 unit annual rate.
“Class 8 orders in May rose 4% month over month and 14% year over year,” he continued. “When seasonally adjusted, May was the strongest order month for Class 8 since February.”
On the other hand, reported Vieth, Class 5-7 “saw orders cool in May to their lowest level since last December.” Class 5-7 net orders fell 27% month over month and 10% year over year. Vieth noted that the month-over month number was “against a tough comparison, since April’s orders were the best since early 2006.”
FTR observed that Class 8 orders have now recorded 16 consecutive months with year-over-year increases. The firm stated that “backlogs remain at very high level and OEMs will continue to increase build rates in response to this growing demand.”
Per FTR, Class 8 orders for the latest six-month period through May annualize to 343,000 units.
“The positive performance of Class 8 orders in May met our expectations with the volume right in line with our forecast,” pointed out Don Ake, FTR vp of commercial vehicles.
“The recent order activity confirms that the market has some real strength,” he continued. “We do expect Class 8 orders to slow down in the summer, as generally is the case, but they will remain above last year’s levels.”
FTR noted that its final data on May will be available later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.