FTR: February outlook for Class 8 demand remains unchanged

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Peterbilt 384

FTR announced Tuesday, Feb. 23, that its February North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook Report continues to forecast only marginal gains for Class 8 truck demand for 2010 even as signs multiply that the demand for truck freight is beginning to improve.

While freight is turning positive and expected GDP growth for 2010 is edging higher, the combination of excess capacity and the impact of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions mandate will hold Class 8 equipment demand this year essentially flat compared to 2009, says FTR, who also reports that the outlook for trailers is improving for 2010 with production levels stabilizing.

“While many would like to see a good upsurge in Class 8 demand this year because of the improving economy, our analysis continues to see a disconnect between the 2010 freight and equipment production outlooks,” says Eric Starks, FTR president. “We continue to caution against optimism – especially in the first half of the year – because of the huge overhang in excess idle equipment. The current lack of Class 8 orders supports our view.”