Class 8 truck orders rebounded while Class 5-7 orders remained strong in December, according to preliminary numbers released by ACT Research and FTR.
Class 5-8 orders are projected to hit 49,700 vehicles in December, up 40% month over month, according to ACT Research. At 28,100 units in December, net Class 8 orders showed a nearly 70% increase from November, but are down compared to December 2014 numbers.
“The improved December orders provide some needed stability to what was a shaky Class 8 market,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Orders have averaged about 22,000 per month for the last ten months and in Q4 averaged 23,300. So, the orders have been very consistent for a while, just at a lower level.”
While there was a significant decrease year over year, the 4th quarter of 2014 was a record-setting season for truck orders and without it, Class 8 truck orders are nearly average.
“Absent a difficult comp, fall 2015 Class 8 orders actually looked relatively normal,” said Michael J. Baudendistel , vice president of Stifel Transportation and Logistics Research Group. “We believe larger fleets were likely more active in December and a rebound in orders for linehaul tractors was the most likely cause of the sequential increase for total Class 8 orders.”
Class 5-7 orders remained strong in December, rising above 20,000 units for the third time in the past 4 months. Net orders were 21,600 units, which is up 15% from November but down 5% from a year ago.
“December is typically a strong order month," said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. "As such, seasonal adjustment lowers December’s medium-duty net order volume to 20,500 units."