ACT Research's NA Class 8 Net Orders chart shows the ups and downs of truck orders since January 2019. There was a slight increase from the December 2023 orders and a larger increase over January 2023 orders.  -  Source: ACT Research

ACT Research's NA Class 8 Net Orders chart shows the ups and downs of truck orders since January 2019. There was a slight increase from the December 2023 orders and a larger increase over January 2023 orders.

Source: ACT Research

ACT Research and FTR each reported that Class 8 preliminary net orders increased in January from December, however, both report a significant year-over-year increase. ACT Research said the orders are 45% higher than a year ago, while ACT Research reported a 35% increase.

ACT Research

January preliminary North America Class 8 net orders were 27,000 units, up 600 units from December and 45% from a year ago, according to ACT Research. Complete industry data for January, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-February.

“Weak freight and carrier profitability fundamentals, and large carriers guiding to lower capex in 2024, would imply some pressure in the NA Class 8 market’s largest segment, US tractor,” shared Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “While we do not yet have the underlying detail for January orders, Class 8 demand continuing at high levels at the start of 2024 suggests that over-the-road US truckers are still buying.”

With the third largest seasonal factor of the year, 11%, seasonal adjustment pushes January’s Class 8 intake to 24,300 units (292k SAAR), up 17% from December.

“NA Classes 5-7 net orders were 20,300 units in December, up 16% y/y. Unlike Class 8, MD seasonality is modestly positive in January, boosting the seasonally adjusted order tally to 20,800 units, down 21% m/m from a tough best-month-of-2023 December comp,” explained Vieth.

FTR reported preliminary Class 8 net orders increased in January by 2% over December 2023, but overall are much higher than a year ago.  -  Source: FTR

FTR reported preliminary Class 8 net orders increased in January by 2% over December 2023, but overall are much higher than a year ago.

Source: FTR

FTR

FTR said Class 8 preliminary net orders for January came in at 26,400 units, up 2% from December and up 35% year over year.

Total Class 8 orders over the past three months are running at an annualized rate of 354,000 units, FTR reported. The annualized rate over the past six months has been 327,000 units. Orders for the previous 12 months equaled 259,000 units.

“Build slots continue to be filled at a healthy rate. With January orders coming in at a rate that was comparable to the previous month, the market is still performing at a high level historically,” said Eric Starks, FTR’s chairman of the board.

Starks said it was a mixed market for OEMs in January with some seeing increases and others seeing decreases in orders.

“Fleets continue to be willing to order new equipment despite uncertainty in the freight market,” added Starks. “Order levels were above the historical average and above seasonal trends, although we still expect 2024 activity to reflect replacement demand.”

Preliminary orders may be estimated and are subject to revision when FTR releases final data mid-month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.

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