Orders for Class 5-8 trucks rose to a 16-month high in March, according to data from ACT Research.
Preliminary net orders rose to 47,300 units, ACT reported, which represents a 19% improvement year-over-year.
“Against easy comps, March Class 8 orders were up 42% compared to March 2016,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “On a seasonally adjusted basis, orders were booked at a 267,000 unit SAAR in the first quarter.”
FTR reports preliminary Class 8 net order for March at 22,800 units, slightly above expectations and much higher than a year ago for the third consecutive month. March orders were basically flat month-over-month.
Don Ake, vice-president of commercial vehicles at FTR said: “March orders are reflective of a more normal Class 8 market in a moderate, freight-driven upcycle. Replacement cycles are now getting back into a more traditional pattern. This reflects growing fleet confidence as they see freight growth returning after a difficult 2016. OEMs are ramping up production in response. There is renewed optimism in the industry.
“This is a reserved, contained market upswing. It means it is easier for the OEMs to increase builds gradually and prices don’t fluctuate as much. It provides some market stability. It is good for the industry, and a good sign for the economy in the second half of the year.”