BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – North American Class 8 orders came in at a “disappointing” 17,300 units in November, according to preliminary data from FTR.
That’s a 21% decrease from October, and the lowest November since 2015. It was also 39% off last November’s total.
FTR says fleets are “extremely cautious” heading into 2020, placing small orders and not extending orders much beyond the first quarter.
“The fall order season has gotten off to a slow start. Freight growth has stalled from the high rates of last year. This is causing fleets to be much more measured in their ordering for 2020. There still will be plenty of freight to haul, so we expect fleets will continue to be profitable and to replace older equipment. However, there won’t be a need for much additional equipment on the roads,” said Don Ake, vice-president, commercial vehicles.
“There is still a great deal of uncertainty in the environment which is creating apprehension in the trucking industry. Manufacturing has receded for four straight months, slowing economic growth. The trade war and tariffs are destabilizing prices and supply chains. And the tumultuous political climate just adds to an uneasy mix. The industry thrives on stability, but we are now on a rocky road.”