Two companies that track activity in the heavy-duty truck market Wednesday said preliminary Class 8 net orders were up almost 40 percent for June to 17,600 units, a month-over-month improvement of 7 percent, and 38 percent better than a year ago.
Class 8 orders had surprisingly retreated in May, but June’s bounce-back activity is more in line with expectations, according to Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles.
It is assumed that most of the June orders are for fourth-quarter delivery, enabling the OEMs to maintain their current build rates throughout the year, he said, adding that such a fact would result in full-year numbers in line with FTR’s 2017 forecast.
The Class 8 market continues to perform at a steady pace and is consistent with summer’s seasonal trends.
Total orders for the past 12 months have totaled 216,000 units.
“The June orders confirm that the market just took a brief respite in May after several stronger-than-expected months,” Ake said. “The orders are right where we expect them to be and on track with our forecast. The fact that orders are up 38 percent over last year proves the market is much improved this year.”
Fleets are ordering to fill out their remaining requirements for the second half of the year, Ake said.
“However, it is still good news that orders rose and did not drop significantly from May,” he said. “This shows the market is steady, stable and primed for a strong year in 2018.”
Final data for June will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.