BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR has raised its 2019 forecast for Class 8 trucks and commercial trailers. North American Class 8 factory shipments are now forecast to be 350,000 units in 2019, up 8% y/y, and U.S. commercial trailer production to be 310,000 units. FTR’s medium duty (class 4-7) forecast has not changed.
Class 8 orders set a record during the third quarter of 2018, pushing backlogs almost 7% higher than the previous record. Trailer orders smashed the monthly record in September by almost 10,000 units, and backlogs are barely below the all-time high.
Don Ake, FTR vice-president of commercial vehicles said: “We increased our forecasts for 2019 based on our models indicating continued strong freight growth generating robust demand for equipment through Q3 of next year. OEM component suppliers have also done a much better job delivering on time, allowing production rates to increase. If this continues, we expect a record Class 8 build in 2019 for a year not impacted by a pre-buy. Trailers could also set a record, if sales are steady through the end of the year.”