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August Class 8 Truck Orders Will Beat Expectations

September 6, 2016

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Orders for Class 8 trucks in the month of August will be slightly above expectations and a 36% improvement over July’s terrible numbers, according to projections from FTR and ACT Research.

Class 8 truck orders in August will be around 14,200 units for the month, a significant rebound from July’s dismal 10,358 units ordered, according to ACT Research. July’s order numbers were the worst recorded by ACT since the first quarter of 2010.

“After a weak June and a dismal July, Class 8 orders rebounded in August to 14,200 units, or nearly 16,000 units on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. “While rising 37% from July, August demand failed to meet the year-ago order volume for an eighteenth consecutive month, falling 29% from August 2015.”

Despite the gains, Class 8 order activity for August was the weakest for the month in six years and is down 35% compared to 2015. Class 8 truck orders have totaled 206,000 units for the last 12 months. FTR expects truck orders to remain moderate in September before jumping in October, giving analysts the first look at what to expect for 2017’s truck market.

“Late-summer orders are generally weak seasonally, however, and the August order total still remains significantly below last year’s level,” said Michael Baudendistel, vice president at Stifel, a transportation analysis firm, in an email to investors. “We believe October will be the next truly meaningful order month, as it should be the first month which reflects orders for model-year 2017 tractors, which should give insight into expected production next year.”

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