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Class 8 Truck Market Flat, Medium-Duty Poised for Steady Growth

March 22, 2016

Class 8 truck orders in February were down 42% year-over-year, while medium–duty orders were at the highest level in over a year, according to the latest figures from ACT Research.

There were 18,078 net Class 8 truck orders for the month, down slightly from January’s already low order numbers. This continues a trend of poor Class 8 order numbers that began in late 2015.

“The commercial vehicle industry, primarily the heavy truck segment, continues to struggle with adjustments in response to last year’s optimism and resulting overshoot,” explained Jim Meil, ACT’s principal, industry analyst. “Problems persist with excess freight-hauling capacity, a weak freight pricing environment, and the overstock of heavy-duty trucks at dealerships.”

On the medium-duty side of the industry, Class 5-7 net orders increased substantially in February, hitting 22,316 units for the month. Healthy consumer balance sheets, rising new home construction and improved state and local government budgets also contributed to the positive movement for the segment. Unlike the Class 8 segment, which is recovering from so much growth in early 2015, the medium-duty market has had an absence of overbuying, according to ACT.

“Medium-duty is well positioned for continued steady growth into 2016,” said Meil.

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