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Truck orders near best levels in 8 years

Jason Cannon March 5, 2014

February Class 8 truck net orders hit 28,876, the highest February, and combined with December and January the best three-month period, since 2006.

February 2014 net orders were a 27 percent improvement from the same month in 2013 continuing a string of thirteen consecutive months with year-over-year gains.  The last six months of Class 8 order activity annualize to 320,500 units.

“Orders were strong for the third consecutive month and in line with expectations with the market now officially in a growth cycle,” says Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. “The confidence in the industry is picking up steam and we expect 2014 to be a healthy year for Class 8 trucks.  The current order activity should begin to put pressure on OEM build rates for Q2 to be more in line with the FTR forecast.”

February NA Classes 5-7 net orders are expected at 19,600 units according to ACT Research.

“February’s Class 8 orders were the fifth best since Q2 2006,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Sr. Analyst. “Despite falling 16 percent from January, February’s net orders were up 30 percent compared to a year-ago. Since October, Class 8 orders have been booked at a 320k SAAR. Going even further afield, since the beginning of Q3’13, Class 8 net orders have been booked at a 299k SAAR,” Vieth added.

Following two months of below trend order placements, Classes 5-7 net orders rose to their highest level cycle-to-date at 19,600 units, Vieth says. That volume represents an improvement of 14 percent from January and 22 percent compared to last February.

“MD orders over the past year can be characterized as ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Since October, orders have been booked at a 211k SAAR, while going back to the beginning of Q3’13 produces a net order SAAR of 210k units. Over the 12 months ending February, 206k net orders were booked,” says Vieth.

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