Compared with last year’s record truck order numbers, preliminary reports for this November show dramatically decreased demand in the Class 8 segment.
Early numbers from ACT Research and FTR project Class 8 truck orders to hit somewhere between 16,400 and 16,600 units ordered in November. That's down nearly 60% compared with the same month a year ago.
All OEMs except one experienced unusually low orders for the month, according to FTR, with outlook for the next two months expected to be better but "not necessarily good."
On Dec. 1, Volvo Trucks announced that it would lay off 734 workers from a Virginia assembly plant next year, due to decreased demand for heavy-duty trucks.
“Unfortunately, little of the decline can be accounted for by seasonality,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s VP-commercial vehicle sector. “November was the weakest Class 8 net order month since August 2010 on a seasonally adjusted basis and September 2012 on an actual basis.”
The medium-duty Class 5-7 segments fared better in November, with net orders projected at 18,700 total. That number still represents a 15% decline compared with October but year-over-year comparisons actually show growth in the sector, according to ACT Research.
“More prevalent direct exposure to facets of the economy other than those that generate freight has allowed demand for medium-duty vehicles to remain more stable,” said Tam.