Columbus, Ind.-based ACT Research said 37,700 new Classes 5-8 vehicle orders were booked in March, with Class 8 garnering 16,000 orders for the month and Classes 5-7 orders set at 21,700.
“Medium-duty and heavy-duty demand as mirrored by new order activity remain on divergent paths that are tracking their niches in the broader economy,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “In the case of medium-duty demand, a decent jobs market and rising incomes continue to support discretionary spending and improved housing activity, but ongoing weakness in the freight-rich manufacturing sector and excessive inventories in the broader economy continue to weigh on new heavy-duty demand.”
“March’s Class 8 orders fell 37 percent year-over-year and were down 12 percent from February, amid the ongoing overcapacity narrative, a resulting weak freight rate environment, weakness in late-model used truck values, and excessive new vehicle stocks,” said Vieth.
“For medium-duty vehicles, the slow but steady rise in the order trend remained evident in March, with orders rising 4 percent against a tough year over year comparison. Order strength through Q1 continues a period of meaningfully stronger orders which began last September,” said Vieth.