February Heavy Duty Truck Orders Plunge, New 2020 Estimates Call For A 31% Drop

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February Heavy Duty Truck Orders Plunge, New 2020 Estimates Call For A 31% Drop



It has been an interesting dance over the last 18 months for the Class 8 trucking industry and its analysts. While the numbers have consistently told us one thing, namely that the economy is slowing and that the trucking industry is bearing the brunt of the recession, analysts continue to make excuses for the poor numbers while holding out what seems like neverending hope for a turnaround.





But the data doesn't lie: February Class 8 orders fell 16%. The month is traditionally a slower one for the heavy duty trucking industry, but this year included an extra day. The seasonally adjusted orders were the weakest monthly order rate since last August, according to ACT Research. 










ACT’s senior analyst Kenny Vieth said: "Weak freight market and rate conditions, as well as a still-large backlog, continue to bedevil new Class 8 orders." 





Thanks for that groundbreaking analysis of the situation. Lest we forgetACT Research had said last month that it expected the backlog in Class 8 orders to "continue to wear away". We guess that is no longer the case.










Forward projections for the rest of the year don't look optimistic either. Analyst Ann Duignan from JP Morgan has said she expects production of ~236,000 Class 8 units in 2020, or down 31% y/y. She is also estimating ~240,000 units in 2021, or up 2%. We anticipate that these numbers could vary sharply depending on how severe the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. winds up becoming. 







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