NA Medium- and Heavy-Duty Volumes Softened in May

ACT Research reports Class 8 orders dropped 27% from April, and were down 70% from year-ago May while Class 5-7 were down 19% compared to April and 21% from a year ago.

ACT Research

Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data show the industry booked 10,800 units in May, dropping 27% from April, but down a more significant 70% from year-ago May. Note that these numbers are preliminary. Complete industry data for May, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-June.

“Fraying freight market and rate conditions along with a still-large Class 8 order backlog contributed to the worst NA Class 8 net order performance since July of 2016,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continues, “May saw NA Class 8 orders fall below the 15,900 units averaged through the year’s first trimester, and year-to-date Class 8 net orders have contracted 64% compared to the first 5 months of 2018.”

Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth explains, “While the U.S. manufacturing/freight economy has been droopy since late 2018, the medium-duty market continues to benefit from the underlying strength in the consumer economy. In May, NA Classes 5-7 net orders were 19,300 units, down 21% year-over-year and 19% from April. One has to look back 22 months to find a weaker medium-duty order month on an actual basis or just 2 months when looking at the data on a seasonally adjusted basis.”