Class 8 orders jump 51 percent in January, medium-duty spike too

In what ACT Research called a “high-side surprise,” Class 8 orders in January rose 51 percent from the same month in 2013 and were up 9 percent from the month prior.

Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst, tempered the news, however, by noting that Class 8 retail sales dropped sharply in January from December due to tax and sales incentives that ended in December. However, he said, adjusted Class 8 sales rose to a 22-month high, and the strong order figured drove backlogs to a 22-month high.

For medium-duty, Class 5-7 orders rose 33 percent in January from the same month last year, and orders grew 14 percent from December.

“For medium duty, all of January’s sequential order strength and most of the y/y improvement came from the heavier end of the market, Classes 6-7. Broken down by vehicle type, trucks accounted for virtually all of the sequential order increase,” Vieth said.