US heavy vehicle market facing imbalance

November trailer orders in the US gained 18 per cent month-on-month and 10 per cent year-on-year, according to new data by ACT Research.

ACT also confirmed that the “solid order season” is likely to continue for this segment of the commercial vehicle market, despite imbalances across the industry.

“It can be difficult to fully appreciate the strength of trailer orders in the past two years, with six of the industry’s top ten strongest order months having occurred since October 2014,” said Frank Maly, Director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT.

“That strength helped generate an orderboard stretching well into 2016, but it is also a cause for concern, which comes from an apparent CV market imbalance.”

He continued, “Although the trailer market continues at a solid pace, the tractor market has registered a noticeable slowdown in orders, and considered in tandem, this disconnect is somewhat disconcerting.”

Maly added, “Regarding November specifically, the lion’s share of growth came from dry vans, up 47 per cent month-on-month and 33 per cent year-on-year.

“Additionally, orders strong enough to generate backlog growth will be the best indication of industry health at year-end.”

He explained, “Large fleets continue to drive the trailer market, while vocational segments continue to be challenged. The total trailer market is on target to post one of its best years in history.”

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