The preliminary numbers for Class 8 truck orders show near two-year lows in August, according to the latest projections from ACT Research and FTR.
The month's Class 8 orders are projected to come in at 19,700 units by ACT Research and 19,550 units by FTR — well below year-ago levels and marking the lowest point so far this year.
FTR’s projections show the lowest level for Class 8 truck orders since September 2013.
“Class 8 orders were 19,700 units, 20% below July orders and 22% below August 2014," said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR. "Because August is typically the second-weakest order month of the year, seasonal adjustment raises the month’s volume to 22,600 units."
Despite the low orders, analysts are reacting with optimism and are describing the lull in demand as mostly expected due to seasonal trends and market activity in the past year.
“Historically, August is one of the lowest ordering months, so if we have bottomed out at 20,000 units, that’s positive,” said Ake. “It shows the market is stabilizing at a fairly high rate resulting in a reasonably soft landing as production begins to moderate.”
Class 5-7 medium-duty truck orders were down year over year — they are projected to hit 17,500 units in August. However, that marks a 10% rebound compared with July numbers, according to ACT Research.
“North American Classes 5-7 vehicle orders rebounded in August to 17,500 units,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst for ACT Research. “Historically, August is an above average order month for medium-duty vehicles, so seasonal adjustment actually reduces August’s medium-duty order volume to 17,200 units.”
The numbers from ACT Research and FTR are preliminary projections at this point, with the final numbers due to be available in a few weeks.