September truck orders hit lowest mark in 7 years

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Updated Oct 5, 2016

img_3782Preliminary Class 8 net orders for September came in at 13,800 units according to FTR, mostly in-line with expectations.

Last month’s mark is a 2 percent drop from August and was the worst month of September since 2009. Orders were down 27 percent from a year ago.

“The truck market continued to stay weak through September, but this was highly expected considering the slower industry conditions and overall seasonal trends,” says Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “Fleets are cautious due to an uncertain economy and slow freight growth.  Class 8 inventories also remain high and this also restrains new orders.”

Class 8 orders for the last 12 months have totaled 201,000 units and Ake says October orders will be a critical sign for 2017.

“Large fleets are expected to begin ordering replacement units for 2017,” he says. “If the economy does improve and the trucking outlook brightens, then medium-sized fleets and others should feel confident enough to order also in coming months. This would put the market near replacement levels in 2017.”

“Owing to September’s dubious distinction as the weakest net order month of the year, seasonal adjustment boosts the month’s intake to 16,100 units,” adds Steve Tam, ACT Research vice president. “… it remains crystal clear that truckers are still struggling to balance excess freight hauling capacity in the context of anemic freight growth.”