December Class 8 net orders were healthy, bringing total year-end ordering activity to a strong 159,000 units from September to December, according to ACT Research data. Class 8 truck orders were at 30,600 units in December.
Classes 5-7 orders declined 3% year-on-year to 17,464 units (-21% month-on-month), with seasonal adjustment trimming orders to 16,100, ACT’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report revealed.
“For now, business activity in the truck industry rolls on, also seemingly unfased by higher interest rates, as pent-up demand remains for now,” said Eric Crawford, ACT Research’s vice-president and senior analyst.
“We expect this dynamic to shift in [the second half of 2023], as the Fed continues its aggressive push to subdue inflation. Although there have been recent signs of inflation slowing, we do not expect the Fed to begin cutting rates in 2023,” he added.
Regarding retail sales, Crawford said, “Class 8 retail sales in December rose 19% [year over year] to an all-time record 34,415 units. The strong finish to the year led to a total of 309,615 units sold in 2022.” He added, “Classes 5-7 retail sales rose 3.6% [year over year] to 19,000 units. Full year retail sales were 229,821.”