Orders for Class 8 trucks slumped in April

By Mike Brezonick02 May 2023

Preliminary North American Class 8 truck net orders in April fell 27% from the same period of 2022 and 39% below the previous month, according to the latest State of the Industry report from ACT Research.

Class 8 preliminary orders in April

Class 8 orders in April were 11,600 units, while preliminary Classes 5-7 net orders were 18,000 units, down 10% from last year and just 6% below the March 2023 totals.

“Given robust Class 8 orders into year end, ensuing backlog support and normal seasonal order patterns, orders were expected to moderate into Q2,” said Eric Crawford, ACT’s vice president and senior analyst. “We expected SA (seasonally adjusted) orders in a range of 15,000 to 20,000 units per month into mid-Q3 ’23. Coupling those items with increasingly cautious readings from the ACT Class 8 Dashboard, April orders were weaker than expected on a standalone basis but bring the year to date monthly SA average to 17,500, squarely in line with our view.

Medium-Duty orders in April

“The recent turmoil in the banking sector likely tightened credit conditions for some industry participants and may have played a factor in exacerbating April’s weakness. Thus, while we expect orders to remain at subdued levels into mid-Q3’23, we are not inclined to think April’s order activity represents the likely run rate going forward.”

On the medium-duty side, Crawford noted that “demand declined year over year by single digits, moderating after two straight months of double-digit declines. April Classes 5-7 orders declined 10% year over year – down 6% from the previous month – to 18,000 units.”

Headquartered in Indiana, ACT Research is a global publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North American and Chinese markets.

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