First YOY drop seen in net Class 8 orders

According to two transportation research firms, ACT Research Co., LLC (ACT) and FTR Associates, preliminary data indicates November’s Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American OEMs will fall 27% from October’s total to 20,400 units

According to two transportation research firms, ACT Research Co., LLC (ACT) and FTR Associates, preliminary data indicates November’s Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American OEMs will fall 27% from October’s total to 20,400 units. FTR said these orders were down 22% from the same month a year ago-- the first such drop seen in over a year. ACT said the November figure “surprised on the downside, coming in well below October actual.” Order activity for the prior three-month period of August, September and October averaged 24,100 units per month, said FTR.

In addition, ACT reported that November numbers for medium-duty Class 5-7 vehicles will approach 13,400 and noted that preliminary net order numbers are typically accurate to within 5% of actual.

“We believe there was a pull-forward of demand in October to counteract the impact

of price increases for the new model year,” said Steve Tam, ACT vp-- commercial vehicle sector. “The underlying fundamentals in the heavy truck market remain healthy. Classes 5-7 preliminary net orders continue to flow in a very narrow band. As a case in point, when seasonally adjusted and annualized, the Classes 5-7 net order matched the YTD average,” he added.

“Class 8 orders were very disappointing for November and came in substantially below expectations,” remarked Eric Starks, FTR president. “November is normally a very good order month as it lies during what is typically the strong order period of the year.

“What is most troubling about the November number is that it is back down to levels last seen during the summer when we normally see slow order activity,” he continued.

“However, one month does not tell us much about the fundamentals in the market and this does not change our outlook for 2012,” Starks emphasized. “We will be monitoring the situation closely over the next several months as December and January are normally strong order months.”

Final data for November will be available from FTR later this month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service. Contact FTR Associates via email at [email protected] or phone 888-988-1699 ext 1 for more details.

For more information on ACT, go to http://www.actresearch.net.

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