FTR Associates says net Class 8 orders drop sharply

FTR Associates has released preliminary data showing July Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American OEM’s at 18,532, the lowest monthly total since September of 2010. July was the third consecutive month with declining order numbers showing a 12% drop off from June. However July 2011 orders were up 63% from July 2010 and annualized Class 8 net orders for the past three months, while less than the previous three-month period, still total a healthy 250,400 units.

Eric Starks, President of FTR, commented “Although greatly reduced from the torrid pace seen earlier this year, the July numbers came in as we expected. OEM order boards and available build capacity are nearly full through the end of the year. New orders generally slow seasonally during the summer and therefore we would not conclude that July’s data indicates a prolonged slowing in overall order activity. We remain cautiously optimistic that some stronger order activity will return late this year for 2012 delivery. However, we will certainly be watching for any evidence that recent economic trends are having a negative impact on fleet plans for 2012 and beyond.”