Heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicle net orders for June 2009 were 51% below the prior-year period, but there were some bright spots in the underlying data, according to the State of the Industry report released by ACT Research Co LLC. Medium-duty Classes 5-7 net orders continued weak.

“In the heavy-duty market, new orders were at a six-month high, but an eight-month high in the cancellation rate brought net orders down closer to the recent run rate,” said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT. “Additionally, Mexico and Canada markets, which were not materially affected by the increased cancellation rate, posted their highest net orders since the market collapse last November.

“Medium-duty markets remain broadly weak, with even the bus market, which is usually more dependent on day-care graduates than the economy, under significant pressure,” Vieth said. “Since we began tracking in 1990, there has not been a six-month period of order weakness to compare to the current period.”