ACT says Class 8 net orders heading in the right direction
January 20, 2011
On the heels of a promising projection for fourth quarter 2010 Class 8 vehicle net orders, ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, said that December net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles for North American markets at 27, 044 units were up 128 percent year-over-year.
ACT said in its most recent edition of “State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles” that Class 8 orders in December hit its highest monthly total since May 2006, with full-year production of Class 8 vehicles up 30 percent over 2009 at 154,290 units.
“Unlike previous cycles that have been dominated by the U.S., there is a greater breadth of geographic demand for Class 8 equipment this time,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, in a statement. “While U.S. demand is ramping nicely, orders bound for Canada; Mexico; and non-NAFTA export markets remain at healthy levels,” added Vieth.
Earlier this month, ACT projected full-year 2010 Class 8 production to come in at about 154,500 units for a 31 percent gain over a weak 2009 and remains below normal replacement demand. The firm added that it expects demand to continue over the next two years, calling for 2012 and 2013 production to top 300,000 units. On the trailer side, ACT expects production to hit annual growth rates north of 50 percent in 2010 and 2011 compared to a weak 2009.
In a recent interview with LM, Vieth said that “all the stars are aligning” when it comes to Class 8 demand and the current environment.
As 2010 progressed, Vieth said there was a continued shrinkage of Class 8 fleets, with fewer Class 8 trucks on the road at the end of 2010 than there were at the beginning of 2010.
“We had growing freight volume throughout 2010, especially in the first half of the year,” said Vieth. “With freight growing and the tractor supply falling, trucker profitability rose. And used truck prices went up throughout the year. In December 2009, the average used truck price was roughly $35,000-to-$36,000, and at the end of 2010 that price was more than $43,000.”
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