Preliminary truck orders drop below 20k in March
April 3, 2012
Preliminary N.A. class 8 truck net order data dropped once more in March, down another 11% from February. Orders show that 19,700 units were booked in March. Orders were also below year-ago levels, dropping 32%. This was the third consecutive month of negative month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons. March orders annualize to just 236,000 units and are below the average order rate for the past nine months. The annualized rate for the last six months fell slightly to 289,800.
On an annualized basis, the totals are now running well under 300k units. The 3-month annualized rate is just 266,800. The March data is at the low end of expectations and indicates that additional pressure is not building in the equipment sector. We are now at the end of the typical ordering season, and we expect order activity to slowly trend below 20k/month as we get into the summer months. Our truck production forecast is calling for modest growth over 2011, but relatively flat production versus the last six months. OEM build plans indicate a possible ramping up of production during the second half of 2012 but the order data does not yet indicate a need for that.
With the driver supply moderately tight and freight demand healthy, but not surging, fleets are likely to only add limited capacity to their truck fleet. Absent additional freight growth or regulatory hurdles, the new truck market in 2012 is unlikely to see the type of growth that we had in 2011
- Source: FTR Associates
- This is the preliminary net orders data only. The final data is released after the 15th of the month.
- The data is for total N.A. This includes U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Export data
- The market indicator data includes all major North American truck builders.
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