Preliminary order numbers for April came in at 13,200 units, according to FTR – 40 percent below the same month last year.
However, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake says the low order level in no way reflects a softening of demand, but rather the fact that many large OEMs have filled their order boards for 2019.
“We expect the backlogs to remain very healthy, supporting continued high build rates. Orders likely will stay at low volumes through the summer, or until OEMs open the 2020 order boards,” he says. “OEMs have been cautious about taking longer-term orders due to uncertainty over future costs. Right now, the Chinese tariff situation is just adding to an already cloudy outlook.”
Backlogs remain hefty, with robust production levels. Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 364,000 units.