BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — North American Class 8 tractor orders saw elevated numbers in October.
FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 net orders for October remained elevated for the second consecutive month, coming in at 43,200 units. October order activity was -23% month-over-month and +77% year-over year, with Class 8 orders now totaling 271,000 units for the last 12 months.
ACT Research’s preliminary North American Class 8 net order report for October showed a slightly lower number at 42,500 units.
“Net orders in October continue to solidify the notion that there remains a tremendous amount of pent-up replacement demand in the market due to the constricted production environment of the past two years that has limited many fleets from replacing aged equipment,” according to FTR.
Charles Roth, commercial vehicle analyst for FTR, said that “OEMs are now filling build slots well into Q2 and the early part of Q3 2023. Component shortages continue to be a week-to-week issue; however, the overall sentiment from manufacturers is optimistic that improvements will be made in the coming months and throughout the first half of next year.”
Roth said October was the turning point for the Class 8 market.
“While we face headwinds in the freight market, overall fleet sentiment remains optimistic,” he said. “While some OEMs have indicated that they have implemented allocation plans for dealers, the retail channel is another segment of the market that has yet to be able to maintain sufficient levels of inventory due to the limited availability of supply.”
Roth added that with two extremely strong months of net orders, there is the potential for a gradual decrease month over month in net orders at the close of the year.
According to ACT, strength in orders reflects:
- OEMs having opened their order boards for 2023 more broadly.
- Ongoing pent-up demand, with tailwinds from strong carrier profitability and elevated fleet age proving resilient.
“We continue to expect a freight recession, and an eventual economic recession (mild to medium in magnitude), but OEMs at this point have clear visibility to a strong (2023 barring any unforeseen cataclysmic events),” Eric Crawford, ACT vice president and senior analyst, said.
“Manufacturer demand was solid, albeit against somewhat challenging comps. Over the past 12 months, the manufacturer demand has seen 234,200 orders booked.”
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