According to ACT Research, the Columbus, Ind.-based trucking industry analysis and forecasting firm, December saw a total of 49,700 Classes 5 through 8 truck orders booked — up 40 percent month over month.
“December’s volume represented the strongest aggregate month for net orders since 50,900 orders were booked in February of 2015,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Despite being up sequentially, orders fell more than 17,000 units — or 26 percent — from December 2014, marking the ninth consecutive month in which industry orders fell below year-ago levels.”
At 28,100 units in December, North American Class 8 net orders were the best since February. Orders in December were up 68 percent compared to November’s weak tally, but at the same time fell 36 percent below last December’s fourth-best-ever volume. Seasonal adjustment drops December’s Class 8 orders to 22,500 units.
Strong orders continued for Classes 5 through 7 trucks in December, with orders rising above 20,000 units for the third time in the past four months — a feat last accomplished in mid-2006. For the month, North American medium-duty Classes 5-7 vehicle net orders were 21,600 units. While up 15 percent from November, December’s order volume was down 5 percent from a year ago.
“December is typically a strong order month. As such, seasonal adjustment lowers December’s medium-duty net order volume to 20,500 units,” said Vieth.