BLOOMINGTON, IN – According to FTR, preliminary Class 8 net orders for April ranked in at 23,600 units, keeping up the steady track that began seven months ago.
While OEM activity was modestly better for and down slightly for others month over month, April orders met expectations with a 4% increase over March and jumped 77% when compared to a year ago.
Fleets are anticipating better freight conditions in the second half of the year and current order activity reflects that. Backlogs should increase in April, nearing where they were a year ago.
Class 8 orders for the past six months now annualize to 262,000 units.
“The order pattern continues to track a sustained, normal pattern. In this order cycle, the fleets did not place all the big orders in October and November. The all didn’t jump into the pool at once,” Don Ake, vice-president of Commercial Vehicles at FTR. “Some fleets did order at that time, but since then, fleets have placed orders in a more measured, steady fashion as they became more confident about 2017. There should be one more month of good orders before the traditional summer break.”
As orders remained at good levels and production started to rise, the Class 8 market continues to show solid momentum.
“This is a typical moderate market recovery. The orders increased first, then production and then the actual sales. Truck sales were weak in Q1, but so was the economy. Freight growth is increasing and the fleets see this and are responding to this trend. This market continues to track the 2013 upswing with modest growth creating a positive environment for the OEMs.”
Final data for April will be available from FTR later in the month.
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