According to both ACT Research and FTR, preliminary North American Class 8 net orders for August increased, climbing to 19,500 and 20,500 units, respectively.
Orders in August were consistent with July, up 3% month-over-month, and up 90% year-over-year, according to FTR, and down 4% from July, but up 75% from a year ago, according to ACT. The latter also reported that Class 5-7 orders added up to 19,400 units, up 16% month-over-month, but 2% below August 2019.
“Preliminary data show that August orders for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jumped to an eight-month high,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “The month’s orders marked a third consecutive positive reading, following a period where 18 of 19 consecutive months had negative year-over-year comparisons.”
This improvement could be caused by large fleets continuing to buy new trucks per their replacement cycles, according to FTR. Orders are expected to stay in the 20,000 range for the near future, with less uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is another positive sign for Class 8 trucks — the second consecutive 20,000-unit month and proves that the July total was not a fluke, with a possible trend developing,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president commercial vehicles. “Fleets are more confident, but it still is mostly larger fleets purchasing replacement trucks. Medium-sized and smaller fleets remain cautious about ordering trucks.”