Soft commercial May orders reflect caution

June 6, 2012

North America medium- and heavy-duty GVW Classes 5 and 6-7 commercial vehicle preliminary net orders for May, 2012, were down from April.

Americas Commercial Trucking (ACT) Research Co. LLC said Class 8 numbers, while still soft, were up from actual numbers in April. The final numbers, which will be released mid-June, will approach 18,000 units for heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and 13,100 for medium-duty Classes 5-7 vehicles.

The preliminary net order numbers are typically accurate to within 5% of actual.

“As has been the case the past two months, the issue appears to center on credit-buying truckers’ confidence in the economy relative to the risk of taking out a sizeable loan,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT Research.

“Highlighting the notion that the recent pullback in orders is a confidence rather than freight related issue, cancellations in recent months have remained at low levels. Beyond confidence, the demand check boxes remain positive, suggesting that the pull-back is temporary.”

Vieth pointed out that we are approaching the period of the year that is associated with order weakness. July and August are typically the softest order months of the year.

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