BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Transportation Analyst FTR reported November 3 that preliminary Class 8 net orders for October reached 13,800 units, virtually even with the previous month. The total was 46 percent down from October 2015, said ACT Research President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth. “September is typically a weak order month,” Vieth said. “Normally, we would expect to see about a 30 percent (increase for October over September).”
The reported net order number for the month, FTR stated, was negatively impacted by a “significant cleanup of long-term, excess, orders by one OEM.” FTR did not name the manufacturer whose cleanup reduced the net total, and Vieth said he also could not comment on the information.
“With this backlog adjustment factored out, net orders would have been closer to approximately 21,300 units, much above industry expectations and would have been the best monthly order activity since December 2015,” FTR stated.
Don Ake, vice president of Commercial Vehicles at FTR, said “The adjusted number of 21,300 was fueled by the big fleets placing their requirement orders for the first half of 2017. This indicates the freight markets are stabilizing and the fleets are confident enough to replace older trucks.
“FTR expects medium-sized and smaller fleets to wait until after the election to place most of their initial 2017 orders. Once that uncertainty has been lifted, it should help the equipment markets and the general economy. Monthly orders will likely hover around the 20,000 unit mark in November and December.”
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