FTR: Preliminary March heavy truck orders up from February

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FTR Associates today, April 3, released preliminary data showing Class 8 total net orders for all major North American OEMs totaling 8,594 units in March, up 26 percent from February. The figure includes orders for the United States, Canada, Mexico and exports.

While March 2009 Class 8 preliminary orders were up month-over-month, they were 44 percent below March 2008. Orders for the first quarter of 2009 reflect an annualized rate of 92,772 units.

“We did see an increase in orders in March, which is of course positive news following the very low numbers which came in for January and February,” says Eric Starks, president of Nashville, Ind.-based FTR Associates. “However, the annualized rate of incoming Class 8 orders through March is still dismal. FTR does not see a sustainable rebound in Class 8 order activity for the foreseeable future. The industry and economic environment just don’t support increased fleet equipment purchases.”

Final data for March will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service. For more information, contact Starks at or 888-988-1699 ext. 41.

FTR Associates says its U.S. Freight Model 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; specially designed reports are offered to participants in both industries to cover specific needs. For more information, go to