According to reports from FTR and ACT Research, June’s preliminary North American Class 8 net orders rose between 130% and 139% over May with 15,500 and 16,000 units. Compared to last June, orders were also up by 20-23%.
“It is also encouraging that fleets are showing enough confidence in the economy to begin placing some viable orders,” said Don Ake, vice president commercial vehicles. “The trend should continue, but a significant increase is not expected until October when the big fleets begin placing orders for 2021 delivery.”
Class 8 net orders for the last 12 months now total 158,000 units, according to FTR, while ACT reported that Class 5-7 truck orders increased 77% month-over-month, down 20% from the June 2019.
“Preliminary data show that June orders for medium and heavy-duty vehicles jumped to a four-month high, rising above the combined April and May order tally,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.
The rapid improvement in freight rates during May and June may have contributed to the increase in Class 8 net orders, according to Vieth, compared to last year, “when orders were under pressure from still large backlogs and rising equipment overcapacity.”
“The great thing about the order improvement in June is that it should permit OEMs to continue to produce at a steady, but still reduced rate, for a couple of months,” added Ake. “However, some of the OEMs need higher order volumes in July to keep the industry moving out of the mire caused by the virus.”