ACT Research: Class 8 orders strong, particularly in Mexico

ACT Research: Class 8 orders strong, particularly in Mexico

November Class 8 net orders, at 41,732 units, were up 28% year-over-year.

According to ACT Research, November Class 8 net orders, at 41,732 units, were up 28% year-over-year, with tractor orders up 20% and vocational equipment orders up 60% on ongoing pent-up demand. ACT notes that much of this demand has been coming from Mexico.

“There may be some pent-up demand remaining for tractors. If so, and given freight rates, it remains largely with private fleets,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “An increasingly important contributor to strong order numbers is vehicle demand coming out of Mexico, where tractor orders were up over 150% y/y. Truck demand remains red hot, as vocational markets have been underserved the past few years.”

“Despite two fewer days in November, Class 8 build increased 4% y/y to 28,400 units,” he added. “Classes 5-7 production benefitted from some make-up activity following October’s strike-constrained output, rising 11% m/m to 24,200 units.”

Vieth concluded, “Class 8 inventory levels remained in a very narrow band for about half of 2023 but have risen in each of the past five months. Totaling 67,209 units, inventory was up 12% y/y. The increased inventory tracks with lower tractor retail sales, particularly in the U.S. market where weak freight volumes have started to constrain for-hire fleet demand. Classes 5-7 inventories remain highly elevated at 82,969 units, as MD bodybuilder labor challenges persist.”

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