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ACT Research: July Trailer Orders More than Double; Class 8 Orders Soar

August 17, 2018, 07:05 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

ACT Research’s preliminary estimate for July 2018 net trailer orders is 29,300 units. Final July volume will be available later this month.

“After a steady June, fleets came roaring back into the market in July. OEMs had their strongest July net order volume in history, breaking a record that was set in 1994. Net orders were 102 percent better than last July and 45 percent above June volume,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s Director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research. “Considering July is, historically, the industry’s weakest order month, this performance is truly exceptional. Year-to-date, net orders of just over 200k trailers are up 30 percent from 2017.”

He added, “When seasonally adjusted, July came in above 44k units, the second strongest monthly reading in industry history. That converts to a stunning 528k SAAR. Both dry vans and reefers paced overall performance, closing the month with backlogs that now stretch into March of next year. While strength was evident across all industry segments, it is noteworthy that cancellations remain low, indicating strong fleet confidence as we move through the rest of this year and into next.”

ACT Research also reported July’s NA Class 8 net orders soared. At the top line, North American Class 8 net orders totaled 52,629 units in July, marking the fifth time in seven months in which industry orders cracked 40,000 units, according to ACT Research.

“Making July’s order intake more impressive is the fact that the month is typically the weakest of the year,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “Much of the past two-month order surge is attributable to dealers booking build slots for 2019 and not to say that current order activity will not be converted into customer sales, it is worth noting that as lead times extend, orders are inherently more speculative. In the meantime, the industry continues to finish units that were not completed in Q2 owing to various parts shortages, with July’s build rising to 31,039 units.”

Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth said, “Medium duty production handily beat build plans for a sixth consecutive month in July, with build coming at 22,160 units.”

“The build plan now anticipates full-year medium duty build at 270,500 units,” he added.


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