Class 8 orders continue sluggish start to 2019

by Truck News

Class 8 truck orders hit a 31-month low in April, with preliminary data from ACT Research showing 14,800 orders, a 6.2% decline from March but down 57% year-over-year.

“We continue to contend that current order weakness has more to do with very large Class 8 backlogs and orders already booked, than with the evolving supply-demand balance,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Of course, contracting freight volumes, falling freight rates, and strong Class 8 capacity additions suggest that the supply-demand balance will become an issue later this year.”

FTR reported preliminary orders of 16,400 units, marking the fourth consecutive month that orders have been below the 20,000-unit mark. FTR had April’s orders 5% higher than March. It reports Class 8 orders for the past 12 months now total 380,000 units.

“Near-term build slots are becoming available as fleets rearrange orders based on current needs,” said Don Ake, FTR vice-president, commercial vehicles. “There still is limited cancellation activity, as fleets do not want to give up build slots they may need at a later date. They remember what happened last year when they needed trucks, but could not get enough of them.”

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