The rides of March: HD commercial orders rise

April 5, 2011

A preliminary reading of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicle net orders for North American markets rose to 29,200 units in March. According to ACT Research Co., net orders in March were up 159% from March 2010, the largest monthly order intake since May 2006. Preliminary net order numbers are subject to revision and are typically accurate to within 5% plus or minus.

“March finished off a second consecutive quarter of elevated Class 8 demand,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Orders were booked in excess of a 300,000 unit annualized rate from October to March. Industry backlogs, which fell just short of 100,000 units in February, likely rose by another 8,000 to 10,000 units in March.”

Vieth says that the uptrend is firmly established. Now the question for 2011 is whether or not the industry has the ability to meet the demand, instead of whether demand would rise to expectations. He says history shows that production always chases demand at the beginning of the cycle. Unlike orders, the industry needs to work in unison to raise production.

ACT publishes new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as the banking and investment community. For more information visit