Truck order season off to strong start

Jason Cannon

November 13, 2013

October truck order placement exceed trends of the past few months, according to data released by ACT Research.

When final tallies are released mid-month, North American classes 5-7 orders are expected to hit 18,600 units, and Class 8 orders are expected at 26,300 units.

“The fourth quarter is historically the start of the order season for Class 8 vehicles for the new year,” says Ken W. Vieth, ACT’s Sr. Partner and General Manager. “The order volume exceeded the OEM build plans for October, so if build occurred as planned, Class 8 backlog will grow by about 2,000 units (not SA).”

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The orders will help fill open build slots remaining in 2013 while providing a better planning base to start 2014 production, Vieth says.

“Seasonally the Class 8 order volume translates into about 25,000 units,” he adds. “Assuming October is not a one month shot of adrenalin and recognizing that orders have gradually edged higher quarter by quarter in 2013, our expectations are for further strength in the fourth quarter.”

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Vieth says the Classes 5-7 OEM build plan for October 2013 shows a volume almost identical to the new preliminary net orders received, suggesting Class 5-7 backlog will remain flat heading into end of year production planning.

“The strength of the net orders was broad based amongst the Classes 5-8 vehicle manufacturers suggesting some geographic and application balance as well,” Vieth says.

Last week, FTR also released preliminary data showing October Class 8 truck net orders rising 39 percent from September to 25,960 units. October 2013 orders improved 14 percent year-over-year and are the highest since December 2011, according to FTR.

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