Class 8 booked 25,900 net new orders in October, while Classes 5-7 posted 21,900 net orders, according to figures released Wednesday by ACT Research Co.
The results were published in the latest State of the Industry report that covers Classes 5 through 8 vehicles for the North American commercial vehicle market.
Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president of the commercial vehicle sector, said developments in the economy and industry continued to evolve in October, doing little to add any degree of clarity to what he termed “a confounding situation.”
He said, “Whether one subscribes to the theory that both economic and industry woes have resulted in excess inventories that are currently correcting, or the theory that weakening growth is more permanent in nature and will persist, the results are the same.
“Many in the industry have curtailed 2016 planned activity,” Tam said, “Class 8 net orders failed to wow in October. Historically, a number of factors converge to send orders nearly 15 percent above average. That said, orders did increase 34 percent month over month — but at a lower absolute level than previously expected. And, the mismatch between order intake and build has resulted in a backlog drain that is now entering its eighth consecutive month.”
Concerning medium-duty trucks, Tam said, “Orders were equally as unimpressive for the Classes 5-7 market in October, though expectations were not quite as high as for the Class 8 market. Sequentially, demand dropped about 1 percent. Cumulatively Class 5 is up more than 11 percent, while Classes 6-7 are holding steady — down less than 1 percent.”
He added, “Slowing in state and local government and municipality purchases accounted for much of the lower Classes 6-7 demand.”
ACT is the leading publisher of new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China commercial vehicle market.