Truck orders fall in final month of 2023

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Updated Jan 4, 2024
FTR Class 8 orders December 2023 chart

Class 8 truck orders trended down in December, FTR and ACT Research reported Wednesday. 

FTR reported preliminary truck orders of 26,620 units; ACT Research's preliminary estimate was 26,500 units. These totals were substantial drops from November. FTR says its preliminary order total was down 26% from November and 6% year over year. It says orders for the previous 12 months have been 253,000 units, with recent run rates being even stronger — annualized over the past six months to 302,000 units and 362,000 units over the past three months.

“Despite the slight year-over-year decrease in orders in December, the market is still performing at a high level historically,” says FTR Chairman Eric Starks. “Even as the freight markets have been weak for an extended period, fleets are still ordering equipment. Order levels were above the historical average but continue to follow seasonal trends, reinforcing our expectations for replacement demand in 2024.”

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ACT Research President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth says his firm was more surprised by the downswing.

“After a strong and upside-surprising November, Class 8 orders surprised in the opposite direction in 2023’s last report,” he says “With the largest seasonal factor of the year, seasonal adjustment pushes December’s intake sharply lower, to 20,900 units. The full-year 2023 Class 8 order tally fell 7% year over year to 278,500 units.”

The medium-duty (Classes 5-7) market was better in year over year comparisons at 26,500 units, up 53% from 2022. 

“Unlike Class 8, medium-duty seasonality is modest in December, lowering the seasonally adjusted order tally to 25,200 units, up 4.6% from November, and the best month of the year on both a nominal and seasonally adjusted basis. For all of 2023, Classes 5-7 orders were 245,700 units,” Vieth says.

ACT Research December 2023 medium-duty truck orders

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