ACT Research: 2013 Heavy duty orders up 17 percent, medium duty up 10 percent

December was the second biggest Class 8 order month since March 2006, with orders up roughly 50 percent month over month and year over year. Meanwhile, medium duty December net orders fell month over month; but year-over-year orders were mixed, with Classes 6-7 rising 20 percent and Class 5 orders falling 16 percent against tough comparisons. For the year, Class 8 net orders were up 17 percent from 2012 while Classes 5-7 orders rose 10 percent. This updated status of the North America commercial vehicle market was included in the State of the Industry report, recently released by ACT Research Co. The report covers Classes 5 through 8 vehicles for the North American market.

"The U.S. and Canada did the ‘heavy lifting’ for Class 8 orders in December, while Mexico and non-NAFTA orders moved sideways at low levels," said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research Co., LLC. "Strengthening domestic demand has been supported in the second half of the year by improving economic activity that has translated into improved profits for truckers," he added. "The softness in December’s Classes 5-7 orders is viewed as a temporary pause following two very strong order months for medium duty."