FTR Associates on Friday, July 6, released preliminary data showing June Class 8 truck net orders for all major North American OEMs at 16,195 units, the lowest month for orders since September 2010. June orders were 8 percent lower than May, dropping to 23 percent lower than the same month last year.
FTR said 2012 orders for Class 8 trucks continue to disappoint, with annualized rates coming in well below 2011 levels month after month. For the three-month period including June, orders annualize to 202,700 units.
“Truckers are operating in a modestly positive environment, but not strong enough to elicit higher demand for expensive new vehicles,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis. “Growth in freight volumes and rates slowed noticeably during late 2011 and into 2012.”
Despite expectations that both freight volumes and rates will improve as 2012 continues, equipment markets will have to contend with the effects of last year’s slowdown, Starks said. “Additionally, truck manufacturers continue to build at rates well above incoming orders,” he said. “This will eventually lead to a significant reduction in new truck output.”