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Commercial Vehicle Demand Starts New Year on Weak Pace

February 04, 2016, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

For the month of January, 36,400 Classes 5-8 vehicle orders were booked. That was the third lowest volume of the past 8 months. Note that these numbers are preliminary. Actual numbers will be published in mid-January.

“Economic reports over the course of January were broadly disappointing, with industrial-related data points particularly soft,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “Ongoing weakness in the freight intensive manufacturing sector continued to weigh on capacity utilization following a year in which Class 8 tractor retail sales fell just short of an all-time record. As a result of the soft supply-demand environment, the lackluster Class 8 order trend that started in late 2015 continued into 2016.”

At 18,200 units in January, NA Class 8 net orders were down 48% against a tough January 2015 comparison. Additionally, January volume was off 35% versus a better than expected December. January’s orders are the second lowest intake since mid-2012.

The slow but steady trend that has been in evidence for the past several years continued with January’s medium-duty orders. While down 19% from December’s above-trend order volume, January’s Classes 5-7 net orders rose nearly 3% compared to a year-ago to 18,200 units. “As January is not typically a strong order month, seasonal adjustment boosts the month’s order volume to 19,200 units, a decline of only 10% from December and almost exactly in-line with the 12-month order average of 19,300 units/month,” said Vieth.

ACT is the recognized leading publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as the banking and investment community.

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