While truck sales are strong in Australia in the USA the heavy vehicle market continues to underperform with the latest sales figures showing another poor result in May.

Preliminary net orders for Class 8 ( heavy) trucks in May were down 31 per cent year-on-year but up 4 per cent compared to April.

Reports from the States show there were 14,300 Class 8 trucks sold in May and 17,100 Classes 5-7 (Mediun trucks) sold in the month.

“Three consecutive months of decidedly lower net orders for heavy-duty commercial vehicles appear more closely aligned with current activity in the manufacturing and energy sectors of the broader US economy,” said Steve Tam, vice-president, commercial vehicle sector for industry statistician ACT.

“While metrics in these segments are improving, they can best be described as not being as bad as they were previously.”

“Framed by the ongoing over capacity narrative (too many trucks chasing too little freight) and resultant weak freight rate environment, along with continued softness in late-model used tractor values, May’s Class 8 net orders fell 31 per cent against a moderately tough May 2015.

“Positively, May’s orders, true to seasonal expectations, were better than for April, coming in 4 per cent higher,” added Tam.

Medium-duty truck orders reached their lowest levels since July 2014, down 14 per cent month-on-month and 18 per cent year- on-year. However, order intake remained 4 per cent higher year to date than over the same period in 2015.