June truck orders stay strong

North American Class 8 truck orders for June are projected at more than 20,000 units for the eighth straight month, according to ACT Research Co. and FTR Associates.

FTR preliminary data show June Class 8 truck total net orders for North American OEMs down 9 percent from May. June is the second consecutive month of declining orders after the recent peak of more than 37,000 units was reached in April.

June orders were 33 percent higher than the same month a year earlier. Orders received in the past six months project to an annual rate of 323,900 units, FTR said.

Eric Starks, FTR president, said, “May typically starts the seasonal slowdown in order activity as many fleets have already placed their orders for the year by that point. A decline from May to June was therefore expected and does not signal any significant weakening in underlying demand. We believe that the OEMs are nearly fully booked for the year and are constrained in their ability to add more capacity, so any slowdown in order activity will have little effect on the 2011 production numbers. We expect demand to begin picking up seasonally once again in (4th quarter), and the strength of that upturn will determine the durability of the recovery and set the stage for 2012.” 

“June marked the eighth consecutive month of Class 8 orders over 20,000 units,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. “This extended period of strong orders has boosted industry backlogs and lead times for delivery. Today, the Class 8 backlog is over six months at the current rate of build.”