Mid-Year Class 8 Build Increases Now Questionable, says FTR

NASHVILLE, IN — While ACT Research said that they were still supportive of a healthy Class 8 market after they released their preliminary data showing a decline in Class 8 net orders, FTR Associates isn’t so positive.

FTR’s data shows March Class 8 total net orders 11 percent below February at 19,682. When compared with March 2011, orders are down 32 percent, FTR reported. The weakness was broad, FTR noted, and not focused on one OEM.

FTR president Eric Starks pointed to some of same reasons for the decline in orders as ACT Research did — namely rising diesel prices.

“It is our sense that fleets are gun shy in pulling the trigger as the recent run-up in diesel prices is giving truckers food for thought before they place an order. Right now it is relatively easy to get a build slot so there is little incentive to place orders for later delivery or to get in line.

“These numbers also suggest that the proposed mid-year OEM build increases are now in question. We will still need to wait and see what happens in the next two months but I don’t see anything that suggests a large uptick in orders is on the way.”

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