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Preliminary data from FTR Associates, Nashville, shows that Class 8 net orders for all major North American OEMs totaled 21,792 units in October, reflecting a definite upsurge in order activity. October's order volume is a 104 percent increase over September and a 117 percent year-over-year increase.
For the last three months, Class 8 orders were received at an annualized rate of 172,300, significantly better than early 2009. The figure includes orders for the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Exports. FTR President Eric Starks said, "All indications are that the October increase is due to the filling up of remaining 2009 production slots for trucks with the older 2007 engine technology and to avoid the new 2010 engines, which due to tighter emission standards will be more expensive and will employ new technology. Significantly, the order activity was broad based among the OEMs from fleets of various sizes and did not appear to be dealer restocking. We are encouraged that fleets have developed enough confidence in the economic recovery that they have been willing to make such commitments at this time. However, we believe this is a temporary situation that may actually take orders away from early 2010 so our forecast for next year remains very conservative until we see economic activity to support solid orders going forward."
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