FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for September at 12,100 units, up 13% month over month (m/m) but down 72% y/y. Class 8 orders continue to track in the 10,000-13,000-unit range for the fifth month in a row. Fleets are moving around, or canceling orders previously placed but are not ordering many new trucks for Q4 delivery. Carriers have not begun ordering for 2020 requirements yet, due to the tariffs and the economic uncertainty. Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have totaled 214,000 units.
Don Ake, Vice President Commercial Vehicles comments, “Class 8 orders have been remarkedly consistent, unfortunately, they are stuck at the bottom of the cycle. It’s basically the same story as the last several months, all the orders needed for 2019 were placed months ago and fleets are now adjusting delivery dates and finalizing requirements.”
“Fleets are nervous. Freight growth continues to ease back. The latest manufacturing and construction numbers are concerning. The trade issue with China looms. In this environment, fleets see no reason to begin ordering for 2020 until Q4. However, we are returning to normal industry ordering trends after a tumultuous period, and orders should rise in October.”
Final data for September will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.