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US new truck orders pause in May


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Fleet Owner  /  June 2, 2017

Overall market outlook remains positive.

Orders for new Class 8 trucks dropped in May from the previous month, but remained well above year-ago levels.

Class 8 orders were 16,800 units in May, down 30 percent from April and the lowest in the seven months. However, that was 18 percent higher than May 2016.

Overall Classes 5-8 net orders fell 11 percent in May to 38,100, the second consecutive monthly dip. That figure was 20 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

“Differentiating May from April is the fact that all of the month-over-month decline in May resulted from a dramatic slowing in heavy-duty order intake,” said one analyst.

A second truck industry analyst said its data found Class 8 net orders for May were 16,300, down 31 percent from April. That total is up 29 percent from the same month in 2016. 

He noted all manufacturers saw declines, but the outlook remains solid.

“It appears the typical summer order slump just showed up one month early.  It does indicate the market is functioning normally and there is a steady, not robust, upward trend.  The slowdown in order activity will give the OEMs a chance to get production lined up with demand,” the analyst said.

That was also general message from Stifel analyst Michael Baudendistel.

“We believe the Class 8 order weakness in May should be viewed as a step back from unsustainable levels,” he wrote in a note to investors. “Overall, we continue to view North American truck order trends over the past several months favorably, and believe conditions are setting up well for a strong 2019-2020, which should be years with significant replacement demand.”


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