ACT Research Co., released figures for March preliminary net orders that indicate sales of medium-duty, Class 5-7 commercial vehicles fell in the middle of the range of orders since summer of last year. Meanwhile, Class 8 orders came in below expectations for the second consecutive month.
March typically one of the seasonally strongest months of the year, the research firm added. On a seasonally adjusted basis, Class 8 orders were the weakest since September 2010 at 18,400 units. Medium-duty vehicles were in the ballpark of 13,500 units sold.
“As was the case in February, we attribute softness in Class 8 orders to near-term phenomena including a pullback in confidence brought about by the fall-off in freight at the beginning of 2012, coupled with the subsequent run-up in diesel prices since the beginning of the year, and higher reported Class 8 prices on 2013MY equipment,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT Research. “Beyond those reasons, actual and anecdotal data that we track continue to be supportive of a healthy Class 8 market.”
ACT Research said the preliminary net order numbers are typically accurate to within 5 percent of actual.