The number of heavy and medium-duty truck orders in March increased — the fourth consecutive month of solid order activity – according to recent truck market reports.
According to freight forecast firm FTR, preliminary data indicates March 2014 North American Class 8 truck net orders at 27,139.
“This is a great order total for the month of March. The market is maintaining strength and confirms we are in a solid growth cycle,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “OEMs are expected to increase build rates in response to their growing backlog.”
According to a report by Heavy Duty Trucking, December 2013 through March 2014 is the best four-month period since 2006, according to FTR, which notes the past 14 months have each shown a year-over-year improvement, with totals for the first quarter of 2014 at 35% above the first quarter of 2013. Class 8 orders over the last six months have seen activity reach 337,000 units on an annualized rate and continue to meet positive expectations.
Added Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst: “March was the sixth best order month since early 2006, up 24% compared to a year ago.”
“Like Class 8, Classes 5 through 7, net orders rose compared to March 2013, but slipped sequentially,” said Vieth. “That volume represents a 7% decline from February’s cycle-to-date high and a 15% improvement from last March.”