Shock news from the US suggests the economy is not too healthy as orders for heavy trucks in the region plunged 30 per cent compared with the same period last year.ACT Research Company of Columbus, Indiana, using preliminary statistics, notes that orders for Class 8 trucks fell 30 percent in May to 14,300 compared with 20,533 last year.
May turned in the second lowest order volumes since July 2012 when orders totalled 12,925, according to ACT Research. Only April's total of 13,676 was lower.
Truck makers in the US have already begun to wind in the costs. As costs walk in on two feet, Daimler Trucks North America has signalled that it intends to slice 1,240 jobs from the payroll of several locations in expectation of a 15 per cent dip in Class 6-8 trucks this year from the 425,000 number last year. Jobs will be shed from late this month.
Volvo Trucks North America likewise is responding to market forces, announcing earlier that it has inked in production cuts at its Dublin, Virginia facility in response to slimmer Class 8 orders.
As to the culprit, ACT Research points to "the pullback in commodities" as the main driver of the slowdown.
JP Morgan on the other hand expects 2017 to see signs of recovery as "capacity tightens".
Industry observers will be waiting for the full results to see how the slowdown really affects Navistar International Corporation which has Troy Clarke at the wheel, endeavouring to steer the behemoth into the clear blue skies of profitability.
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