Preliminary truck orders suffer large drop in July
August 2, 2012
Preliminary N.A. class 8 truck net orders slowed considerably in July. Orders for new vehicles have fallen in six of the last seven months. Orders show that just 12,600 units were booked in July, 23% lower than an already weak month in June. This is the lowest level since August 2010 when orders where just beginning to improve following the recession. Orders continue to remain well below year-ago levels, dropping a further 32% in July.
Order activity for Class 8 trucks continues to disappoint with annualized rates dropping as orders come in well below 2011. For the three-month period including July orders annualize to under 200,000 units – just 186,300 units. While orders came in below expectations, they didn’t really surprise. We have been forecasting slower sales of Class 8 vehicles in the second half of 2012 for some time, and the reported order numbers for July support our current outlook for the remainder of the year.
Truckers are operating in a modestly positive environment, but not strong enough to elicit higher demand for expensive new vehicles. Growth in freight volumes and rates slowed noticeably during late 2011 and into 2012. Despite expectations that both will improve as we finish 2012, equipment markets will have to contend with the effects of last year’s slowdown. With the driver supply moderately tight and freight demand healthy, but not surging, fleets are not adding capacity to their truck fleets. Most are simply holding pat and replacing necessary equipment.
Truck manufacturers continue to build at rates well above incoming orders. This will eventually lead to a significant reduction in new truck output. The more dramatic drop in order activity in July is likely to help them pull the trigger quicker.
- 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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