ACT: Preliminary Class 8 net orders “remain strong”

June 3, 2011
Despite some cooling in the Class 8 market being reported by a key forecasting firm, their analysis suggests that nonetheless motor carriers are driving right through the current wave of bad economic news, keeping their sights firmly set on the road ahead

Despite some cooling in the Class 8 market being reported by a key forecasting firm, their analysis suggests that nonetheless motor carriers are driving right through the current wave of bad economic news, keeping their sights firmly set on the road ahead. A preliminary reading of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles net orders shows they “fell from April’s high water mark but remained strong,” according to ACT Research Co. (ACT).

Net orders in fact were up 85% from a year ago May. The firm noted its preliminary net order numbers are subject to revision and are typically accurate to within 5%, plus or minus.

“May represents the seventh consecutive month of orders above the 24,000 unit level, a clear sign of elevated Class 8 demand,” said Steve Tam, ACT vp-- -commercial vehicle sector

“Though May had the lowest order intake of the last three months, orders were booked in excess of a 365,000-unit annualized rate from March to May,” he continued. “Industry backlogs, which stood at just over 125,000 units at the end of April, likely rose as May orders outpaced OEM planned production for the month.”

And he pointed out notably that “so far, trucks have yet to show any reaction to the recent rash of disappointing economic news. Their freight remains strong, exceeding hauling capacity at this time. Carriers are thinking about their future prospects when making significant capital expenditures on new equipment.

“If they [fleets] only reacted to today’s news,” Tam added, “they would be paralyzed into inaction.”

ACT publishes new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and provides forecasting services for the North American market as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT notes that its services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as the banking and investment community.

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