Class 8 net orders jumped to a 13-month high in January 2017 at 22,188 units, lending further support to the notion that Q2-Q3 2016 marked the bottom of the current cycle, according to ACT Research.
A driver of renewed market strength has been an uptick in demand for vocational equipment.
“Orders for vocational equipment rose to a two-year high 8,500 units, or 38.5% of the month’s intake,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst.
Echoing the positive demand of Class 8, medium-duty net orders hit a six-month high at 22,744 units. That volume was up 3% month-over-month, and 31% year-over-year.
“The improvement was broad-based, with truck, bus and RV orders all posting y/y and m/m gains. Seasonal adjustment lifts MD orders in January, boosting the total to 24,100 units,” said Vieth. “On that basis, January was the best month for MD orders since February 2008.”
He said that stronger Class 8 orders, coupled with modest build, allowed backlogs to rise 7,600 units from December to 99,600 units.