Class 8 preliminary net orders in July again rose above expectations to a six-month high of 29,900 units, an increase of 70% over the same period a year ago, according to ACT Research.

Demand for commercial vehicles remained at healthy levels in July as 45,400 total  Classes 5-8 orders were booked. In the ten months since the start of stronger orders last October, Class 5-8 net orders have been booked at an average of 45,200 units per month. Annualized, that represents a total Class 5-8 order volume of 542,400 units.

“In July, historically the weakest month for order volumes, NA Class 8 net orders again rose above expectations,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “In addition to a continuation of the ongoing strong order trend, some of the non-seasonal strength in July might be related to the rapidly dwindling supply of available build slots in 2014.”

Concerning medium duty net orders, Vieth said, “July’s preliminary 15,500 NA Class 5-7 net orders fell almost perfectly between the May and June volumes. The preliminary result is also middle of the road in terms of comparisons: up 3% m/m, but down 4% compared to year ago levels, making a third consecutive below year-ago reading. Part of the recent occurrence of modest negative y/y comparisons can be chalked up to tough comps: the MD market began to strengthen appreciably starting in April of last year.”