ACT says October demand for Class 8 trucks is better than expected
November 21, 2011
Recent data published by ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, stated in its most recent State of the Industry report that new and net orders for Class 8 vehicles hit six-month highs in October at 29,824 units and 28,026 units, respectively.
On the net orders side, this tally exceeds previous expectations from ACT earlier this month, when the firm called for 27,700 Class 8 net orders. The firm said that this most recent batch of data suggests that 2011 will end up in good shape with production at or above 250,000 units, as well as pave the way for what it described as a robust 2012.
“News from carriers is good,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT, in a statement. “Expectations for future freight and profitability are upbeat. Coupling truckers’ positive outlook into 2012 and the better than consensus economic news supports demand levels that we are seeing in the Class 8 market.”
In an interview with LM, Vieth said that the strength in new orders is broad-based in the sense that it is not just United States-based demand but also from Canada and what he called other non-NAFTA export markets, which are pointing to a combination of healthy market activity and a weak dollar.
These factors, he said, are making North American heavy duty trucks a very attractive global proposition.
“In the U.S. market, September was the first sales month in which sales reached what we could consider to be replacement levels for Class 8 trucks in the U.S. market,” said Vieth. “We are certainly working through considerable pent-up demand. There was no need to replace trucks in 2009, but the economy has been growing since the second half of 2009. Excess capacity in the industry was consumed through about the middle of 2010, and since then we have been ‘cutting into muscle.’ Capacity has still been leaving the economy even as the economy has been growing since mid-2009.”
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