For the first time in two years, Class 8 net truck orders posted a monthly year-over-year decline, according to consulting firm FTR.
FTR said March orders came in at 24,780 units, the lowest level since September 2014 and first negative year-over-year comparison since January 2013. Orders have totaled 376,000 units over the last 12 months, the company said.
FTR said that orders are stabilizing, but there is still enough of a backlog to maintain the 2015 forecast. Most of the March orders are for second and third quarter deliveries.
“It is not surprising that orders fell to this level in March,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Many fleets already had their requirements in for 2015, and there is no advantage at this point to begin ordering for next year. The market has cooled down from the torrid pace of Q4 and is trying to find its equilibrium point. We could see orders dip below 20,000 in the summer, but this will still be a great production year.”
Final data for March will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.