Class 8 sales climb in August

Jonathan Willis

September 6, 2017

New truck orders gained month over month and remained well above 2016 totals in August, FTR and ACT Research reported Wednesday.

FTR estimates preliminary Class 8 net orders for August were 20,700 units, up 14 percent from July and 50 percent better than the same period last year.

“August orders continue the positive trend in the Class 8 market. Orders were up for the third straight month, and it looks like May’s 16,500 orders will be the low point for the year. Orders are expected to increase in September, leading into robust order activity in the fourth quarter,” says Don Ake, vice president of Commercial Vehicles at FTR.

Class 8 orders again met expectations as market momentum continues to build ahead of 2018, FTR says. August orders should help fill remaining 2017 build slots. This is the best August order performance since 2014. North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have totaled 231,000 units, FTR says.

ACT Research also showed a strong month for the Class 8 market, with preliminary Class 8 net orders improving on both an actual and seasonally-adjusted basis in August.

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“For the month, orders rose 49 percent from easy year-ago comps,” says Steve Tam, ACT Research vice president. “Seasonal adjustment boosts August’s order performance to their highest level since April at 23,800 units, a sequential gain of 21.”

“Freight continues to show some impressive growth,” says Ake. “This has created capacity tightness in some regions which is expected to spread to more areas as economic growth expands. The capacity crunch will be exacerbated by the ELD mandate, spurring demand for trucks and trailers in 2018.”

Additionally, ACT Research says Class 5 to 7 net orders have moderated the past two months. Preliminary, medium-duty orders rebounded from a soft July, rising to 18,800 units.

Overall, Tam says “Seasonally adjusted, orders rose 1.8 percent to 42,700 units. On that basis, Classes 5-8 orders have ranged from 41,400 units to 42,700 units since April.”

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