Monthly Class 8 orders weakest since mid-’02, preliminary data show

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FTR Associates today, Jan. 6, released preliminary data showing December Class 8 total net orders for all major North American OEMs at 8,775 units. FTR Associates says the figure includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and exports, and is the weakest monthly order activity since mid-2002.

December 2008 order activity is significantly lower, by 45 percent, than the same month in 2007 and foretells a very soft start to 2009, according to FTR Associates. Final data for December and total 2008 will be available from FTR Associates later in the month.

FTR Associates, located in Nashville, Ind., provides transportation forecasting via its U.S. Freight Model, which collects and analyzes all data likely to impact freight movement and is based on specific characteristics for more than 200 commodity groups. FTR Associates’ forecast reports cover trucking and rail transportation and include demand analysis for commercial vehicle as well as railcar.