BLOOMINGTON, Ind — FTR released the preliminary Class 8 net orders for December, and at 21,200 units, numbers are up from November and spot on the forecast.
FTR said the solid December order activity is consistent with the order demand of the last two months. Discounting October’s cancellations, Q4 month-to-month orders were stable. Class 8 backlogs should rise significantly in December, giving the market some modest momentum starting off 2017. Net orders were only 164,000 in 2016, but production was aided by the large backlog at the beginning of the year.
Don Ake, vice-president of commercial vehicles at FTR said: “Another decent month that met expectations. Orders have been following stable, traditional, patterns for six months now, which is great news after the large drop off in 2016. Production was weak in December, but based on the Q4 orders, it should begin a modest recovery in February.
“The most recent economic news has been positive, so freight demand should keep orders propped up for a few more months. 2017 still looks to be a tough year, but now backlogs are growing and that means the worst should be behind us for now.”