Preliminary Class 8 orders in July were around 10,000, as reported by ACT Research and FTR, the lowest since 2010 without seasonal adjustments.

FTR’s preliminary North American Class 8 orders for July were 9,800 units, “falling below a 10,000-unit threshold that has not been breached since 2010.”

Despite most order boards being opened for 2020 build slots, carriers appear in no rush to grab production capacity, FTR noted in a press release. July orders were 24% below an already soft June, and down 82% from a year earlier. Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now fallen to a total of 288,000 units.
“Fleets continue to take a wait and see approach to 2020 equipment,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR chief intelligence officer. “Potentially higher equipment costs, uncertain demand, and enough available capacity in the market are keeping order activity at bay.”

ACT Research preliminary estimates were a bit higher, showing the industry booked 10,200 units in July, but that was still down 21% from June and the lowest monthly order tally since February 2010.

“Weak freight market and rate conditions across North America and a still-large Class 8 backlog continue to bedevil new Class 8 orders,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst, in a release. “With OEMs opening their new model-year order books in June and July, order weakness is increasingly the story of an overcapacitized Class 8 fleet.”

However, ACT said a seasonal adjustment boosts July’s intake to 12,100 units, bringing the “worst since” comparison measurably closer, October 2016.

The medium-duty market, while not as weak, “is looking increasingly tired” after a seven-year positive run, Vieth said, with July’s preliminary Class 5-7 net orders at 15,900 units, down 20% year-over-year and 18% through year-to-date July.

“Seasonal adjustment provides a major boost to July’s medium duty net orders, which rise to 19,100 units, still the lowest adjusted tally since October 2016.”

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