After posting the second best order month in nearly 6 years in August, September’s Classes 5-7 vehicle orders returned to the prevailing order trend, according to ACT. When released mid-month, NA Classes 5-7 orders are expected at 16,500 units (±5%). Class 8 orders also rose compared to August and a year ago. When actual data is available mid-month, Class 8 orders are expected at 20,100 units (±5%).

“Based on ACT’s analysis, September is typically the second weakest order month of the year for Class 8, so modest activity was expected,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “September’s order volume was the best since May and represents gains of 27% compared to last September and to Q3’12. Seasonal adjustment boosts September’s Class 8 orders to 23,200 units/278,000 SAAR. In seasonally adjusted terms, September’s Class 8 order intake was the second best since January 2012.”

However, FTR has released preliminary data showing September Class 8 truck net orders at 19,777 units 29% better than a year ago but just 3% higher than August orders. FTR states that September is now the fourth consecutive month with Class 8 orders below 20,000 resulting in annualized orders for the six-month period, including September, dipping to 240,600 units.  Preliminary order numbers are for all major North American OEMs.
Eric Starks, FTR's president, commented "The order data was generally in line with expectations. Activity is modest but still suggests a flat production and sales market over the next few months. We will be looking hard at the October orders to see if production expectations through the end of the year can be met."

According to ACT, over the past 8 months Classes 5-7 vehicle orders have averaged 16,600 units per month. Compared to a year ago, orders were up 16% in September and 20% for all of Q3. September is typically a better than average month for medium duty orders, so seasonal adjustment lowers September’s order intake to 16,100 units/193,200 SAAR.