Heavy-Duty Truck Orders on the Rise
Recent reports regarding heavy-duty truck orders point toward an industry recovery.
According to ACT Research and reported by Trucks.com, North American orders for trucks in the Class 5 through 8 weight segments increased to 47,300 units in March 2017. This is 19 percent higher than March 2016, as well as a 16 month high.
Additional data from ACT Research also shows an increase in North American Class 5-7 net orders, signifying an increase of five percent over February. Furthermore, March’s order volume was the largest since February 2008.
This wasn’t the end of the good news, with FTR Intelligence noting that Class 8 orders are also on the rise, up 41 percent year over year. The research firm added the following:
“Backlogs are now close to where they were a year ago, and production rates are expected to increase significantly beginning with March totals.”
What Will the Rest of 2017 Bring?
There is no denying the fact that the data shared by ACT Research and FTR Intelligence is encouraging, as it shows that the heavy-duty truck industry continues to recover from its dip over the past few years.
However, not everyone is sold on the fact that this trend will continue throughout the rest of the year.
Michael Baudendistel, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., recently shared the following in a report to investors:
“The recent resurgence in Class 8 demand has been curious given continued weakness in industry fundamentals, as volume and pricing (especially) have both disappointed so far in 2017 in the truckload market. For now, we expect orders to be roughly flat again in April, but we would not be surprised if orders fall off later in the year (perhaps as early as May) given recent demand appears to us to have been driven more by optimism than fundamentals.”
With medium and heavy-duty truck orders taking off in March, industry professionals hope that this is a sign of good things to come during the second half of 2017.