FTR has released preliminary data showing May 2016 North American Class 8 truck net orders only up slightly from April to 14,100 units, a 4% month-over-month (m/m) comparison. Orders for Class 8 vehicles remained subdued with May 2016 activity the lowest for the month since 2010 and 30% below a year ago. The past three months of Class 8 order activity annualizes to just 175,000 units with the annualized rate for the past 12 months continuing to fall, now at 231,000 units.
Don Ake, Vice President of Commercial Vehicles at FTR, comments, “The soft order activity was expected. The good news is that they did not fall further from April, but some erosion in order activity is expected during the slow summer months. Fleets do not need to order many trucks in the current environment because in most cases they have enough trucks to handle the freight. Freight demand is still sluggish due to the build-up of business inventories.”
“Dealer inventories of Class 8 trucks remains bloated, so the only truck orders now are mainly for replacement purposes, with preferred specifications. Backlogs will continue to fall, they are now below 2014 levels for May. It will be a challenge for the OEMs to schedule production through the summer. Extended vacation shutdowns are anticipated.”