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According to ACT Research, North American Class 8 net orders dropped sequentially in September, but they continue to grow year over year.

At the top line, Cass 8 net orders totaled 42,781 units in September, a 19% decline from August’s all-time record, but still the seventh time in nine months in which industry orders cracked 40,000 units.

“We expect orders to remain strong in coming months, with backlog growth expected in Q4,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “However, it is our belief that July and August represent the high-water mark for orders in the current cycle, based on monthly data reporting.”

Vieth added that “even at September’s inflated build rate, it would still take the industry 189 days to build down the backlog. And regarding September’s build strength, which was well above build plans, it is our belief that much of the surprise was related to the finishing of incomplete units.”

As for the medium-duty market, Vieth said that demand for Class 5-7 vehicles “continued within well-defined Goldilocksian parameters in September. Orders gained momentum, ending the month at 24,709 units.

“Medium-duty backlogs reversed course in September, rising 1,300 units month-over-month, but this was overshadowed by higher build rates, causing the BL/BU ratio to drop two days to 3.2 months,” he added.

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