Preliminary February North America Class 8 truck total net orders topped 22,200 units, two research firms reported. February orders were 11 percent below January, FTR Associates said.
This was the second consecutive month of negative month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons. February orders project to an annual rate of 266,900 units.
“Despite the drop in February, demand for new trucks remains robust as fleets continue to replace aging equipment,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis. “With the driver supply moderately tight and freight demand healthy, but not surging, fleets are likely to only add limited capacity to their truck fleet. Absent additional freight growth or regulatory hurdles, the new truck market in 2012 is unlikely to see the type of growth that we had in 2011.”
Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research, said, “February net orders were incrementally below expectations. However, healthy backlogs and strong orders over the previous four months continue to support our forecasts for 2012.”