Bloomington, Ind.-based FTR has released preliminary data showing October 2015 North American Class 8 truck net orders at 25,000 — a full 30 percent above September. However, while the October orders came in significantly higher than the previous month, they were below expectations.
As fleets finalize their equipment budgets for the coming year, October orders typically rise considerably; and although orders were at their highest level since February, they were down a substantial 45 percent year-over-year. Orders for the last 12 months are still an impressive 324,000.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said, “The fall order season has gotten off to a mediocre start this year. Orders were not that great, but they weren’t terrible either. It is not time to panic just yet.
“Fleets are being more cautious this year in their ordering, which is to be expected considering the weak GDP numbers and slower manufacturing growth. If November and December orders are in the same range, then 2016 production should meet expectations.”
Ake said that, overall, backlog remains strong, which helps keep the market propped up. “On the other hand, there was an uneven distribution of these orders among the OEM’s, which unfortunately could result in upcoming production cuts at some plants being more than expected,” Ake said.
Final data for October will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.
FTR’s forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.