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Class 8 Trucks Orders Surprising In January

Posted on February 19, 2014

Class 8 net orders began the year with a high-side surprise, up 9% month to month and 51% year over year according to information from ACT Research, the Indiana-based publisher of market information on the North American and Chinese commercial vehicle markets.

According to the company’s latest State of the Industry Report, Class 5 through Class 7 also got off to a good start with orders up 14% month over month and 33% year over year.

“While orders were strong, one has to read between the lines to appreciate Class 8 retail sales in January,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research Co., LLC. “Thanks to year-ending tax and sales incentives, Class 8 retail sales posted a sharp drop in January from December. But this is the case every year.

“However, applying seasonal adjustment gives a better picture. Adjusted Class 8 sales rose 9% month over month to a 22-month high. Strong orders pushed backlogs to a 22-month high and the backlog/build ratio jumped to 4.9 months.”
Vieth added that for medium-duty, “all of January’s sequential order strength and most of the year over year improvement came from the heavier end of the market, Classes 6-7. Broken down by vehicle type, trucks accounted for virtually all of the sequential order increase.”

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