Orders for heavy-duty trucks fell to the lowest level for 18 months in January.
According to data from ACT Research, the industry saw a 68% drop in 15,800 Class 8 trucks compared to orders placed 12 months before.
However, despite the apparent downturn, those in the industry don’t think it’s particularly cause for concern.
Speaking about the findings, Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst said: “We view January’s order softness as having more to do with pulled-forward orders and a very large Class 8 backlog than with the current supply-demand balance.”
Kristine Kubacki, trucking analyst with Mizuho Industrials agrees: “We believe orders will remain low for the next few months, but conditions are still fairly favourable for everybody.”
Across Europe, where you might expect growing anxiety about an increasingly uncertain situation, analysts are pleasantly calm. For example, European traders expect European companies to flourish in spite of falling customer confidence and industrial output in France and Germany.
Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research has predicted 335,000 trucks will be produced this year – an increase of 5% from last year.
Personally, I’ll be ignoring the doom and gloom figures and sticking with the cheery outlook of industry insiders and experts.