Preliminary North America Class 8 truck net orders increased in December, research firms ACT Research Co.and FTR Associates said. The final number will approach up to 30,000 units.
December orders were up 46 percent month over month, with a year-over-year increase from of 11 percent, FTR said. Class 8 orders for the final three months of 2011 annualize to 312,000 units.
“This level of order intake was better than anticipated and was more than sufficient to support ACT’s 2012 forecast,” said Steve Tam, ACT vice president-commercial vehicle sector. “Even if orders don’t continue to increase sequentially, we have enough of a backlog cushion that our outlook remains solid.”
Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of Transportation Analysis, said, “The rebound in orders to finish 2011 reaffirms our confidence that new truck demand will not wane in 2012. In fact, the six-month annualized order rate of 280,000 units confirms our outlook for this year: modest growth over 2011, but relatively flat production versus the last six months. The final ruling for trucking’s hours-of-service regulations (with a scheduled start not until July 2013) negates any possible positive impact for truck demand in 2012. We expect to see orders ease late in the first quarter as trucking operations prepare for the start of the freight season.”