ACT reports March Class 8 orders hit lowest volume since July 2011

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
April 23, 2012 - LM Editorial

ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, said that Class 8 new and net orders in March were the lowest they have been since July 2011.

March new orders and net orders hit 22,038 units and 20,025 units, respectively, according to ACT. ACT previously forecasted that its preliminary net orders for March would come in around 20,000 units. February net orders hit 22,366 units. When the preliminary orders were initially released, ACT said that the preliminary Class 8 orders were below expectations in what is typically one of the seasonally strongest months of the year, adding that on a seasonally-adjusted basis Class 8 orders are at its lowest point since hitting 18,400 units in September 2010.

“Class 8 demand, as expressed by incoming orders in February and March, has hit a soft patch,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT, in a statement. “There was a tax-driven prebuy at the end of 2011, and dealers added larger than seasonal stocks in Q1 ahead of rising model year ’13 new truck prices. For a lot of truckers, the gap between new and used prices remains particularly large. Given all of the above, plus rising diesel prices through Q1, it is not too hard to see why the industry has softened. However, we think a continuation of reasonable freight growth, strong trucker profits, and healthy used truck prices will push demand higher once the current period of uncertainty is worked through.”

Vieth said in a recent interview that ACT believes all of the Class 8 OEMs started building their 2013 model year equipment if not sometime during February then by March 1.

“We have seen some good inventory stocking over the last couple of months and part of that was dealers having a 2.5-to-3 percent price increase taking effect with 2013 model year Class 8 trucks,” he said. “And part of the strength in production in the last couple of months—and a big part of the inventory accumulation in January and February—was dealers stocking lower-priced model year 2012 trucks ahead of this price increase.”

An order placed in March typically results in a truck being built in July or August, said Vieth. This means that dealers ordered several trucks in the fourth quarter and took delivery of a bunch of stocked trucks in the first quarter, which he said likely means that dealers were not being as big of participants in the market in March as they were in previous months due to the price increase. Other reasons for the decline include higher diesel prices in 2012 and a drop-off in freight volumes at the beginning of the year, he noted.

Vieth also said that the North American trucking industry has been building Class 8 trucks at about an annual rate of 300,000 units.



About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) had nothing but praise for the Senate passage over the past weekend of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015).

While there are apparent benefits to switching from diesel fuel to natural gas in terms of promised climate benefits, they come with a catch according to a research paper recently researched by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The popularity of cloud computing has consumed headlines ranging from fear and doubt, to claims of being the ultimate answer to all software applications in the enterprise. You may be asking yourself, what's the real story? Download the white paper, WMS in the Cloud, today to find out if cloud computing is right for your business.

A well-designed driver wellness program could make the job more attractive and help alleviate driver turnover.

Download this new white paper to understand vital (and complex) customs requirements and competitive strategies for business shipping through the US/Canada border.

Article Topics

News · Trucking · ACT Research · Class 8 Trucks · All topics

About the Author

Jeff Berman, News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA