FTR Associates on Friday, Dec. 3, released preliminary data showing November Class 8 truck net orders for all major North American OEMs totaled 26,005 units, a 38 percent increase over October and the highest monthly order level since May 2006. November marked the fourth consecutive month-over-month increase in orders. Net order activity for the six-month period including November equates to an annual rate of 198,510 units. The figure includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and exports.
“We were expecting a normal seasonal increase in orders to a level between 22,000 and 25,000 units,” says Eric Starks, president of FTR. “The November number came in slightly above those expectations. This can be chalked up as a win for the industry. The fact that truckers are willing to start ordering equipment is certainly a good sign.”
Starks said the new truck equipment market clearly is in a recovery period. “However, we still harbor concerns regarding the durability of the current surge,” he says. “We do know that leasing companies and large fleets were instrumental in pushing the orders higher. What we are not seeing are the smaller and medium-size fleets participating at the levels we would normally expect during a recovery. Until we see this group jumping back into the market, we will continue to be optimistic, but with a degree of caution. The recent numbers have not changed our view on the direction of the new equipment market for 2011.”