Truck orders up 11% in August

Preliminary August Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American OEMs were projected at 20,513, an 11 percent increase over July, FTR Associates said Sept. 6.

ACT Research Co. projected the August rate at 20,800 units.

Despite the improvement, the numbers were down at a level not seen since last October. Nevertheless, orders earlier in the year were strong enough that annualized Class 8 orders for the six-month period including August stood at 299,600 units, a significant improvement from a year earlier.

Eric Starks, FTR president, said that although August numbers weren’t spectacular, the fact they reversed the downward trend seen over the past three months provide an indication that fleet buyers remain in the market for new vehicles. “We were worried that orders might fall given the uncertainty in the economy,” Starks said. “The current level of activity makes me breathe a bit easier and suggests that fleets were not spooked into delaying orders.”

Starks said future orders primarily will be for 2012 build since the manufacturer order boards basically are full for the remainder of this year.