FTR Associates on Wednesday, Nov. 3, released preliminary data showing October Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American OEMs at 18,386 units, a 22 percent increase over the previous month and the third consecutive month showing month-over-month increases. Net order activity for the six-month period including October annualizes to 171,662 units. The figure includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and exports.
“Increased order activity in October was in line with expectations and is consistent with FTR’s current forecast of only a modest increase in demand for equipment in 2011,” says Eric Starks, FTR president. “Typically, October is a seasonally strong month for orders, with November the strongest order month of the year. Therefore, if November orders do not surpass October by several thousand units, that would suggest that many fleets are holding back on buying equipment.”
Starks says that based on comments FTR has heard from fleets about disappointing October freight demand, there is some downside exposure to November orders with fleets not yet comfortable enough to invest in new power units. “Our view is that November orders will hover around 20,000 units before falling off in December,” he says. “Anything exceeding 25,000 units in November would certainly be a win for the industry.”