The final numbers, which will be released mid-October, will approach 15,600 units for heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and 14,000 for medium-duty Classes 5-7 vehicles. The preliminary net order numbers are typically accurate to within 5% of actual.
"Seasonally adjusted, Class 8 net orders were 17,900 units and Classes 5-7 net orders were 13,000 units. Continued weakness in Class 8 demand is in line with a wide swath of data that indicates a pullback in business investment, both domestic and international, ahead of the potential for bad political decisions at year's end," said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT Research.
"Softness continues to manifest itself in a number of freight related data series. As the angst will not be resolved until after Election Day, there does not appear to be a near-term trigger for broadly stronger orders."
Class 5-7 orders continued at consistent levels. September's volume was within 100 units of August and was the third consecutive month with a positive year over year comparison.