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Industry Optimism Reflected In Strong Sales For Class 8 Trucks

Preliminary data compiled by FTR and ACT Research reveals that April was another strong month for Class 8 truck orders in North America.

Increase of 77 Percent

In fact, the 23,900 truck orders placed in April represents a dramatic year-over-year increase of 77 percent. Also, April orders were up another four percent over the strong showing in March. Monthly Class 8 orders have exceeded 20,000 for five straight months, according to the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ). Traditionally, the pace of orders slows as summer approaches, but Ake predicts one more solid month before the seasonal slowdown begins.

Market Confidence for 2017

Don Ake, Vice President for Commercial Vehicles at FTR, attributes some of the strong showing to fleet behavior last October and November. At the time, some fleets resisted the urge to place large orders at that time, contrary to seasonal behavior in prior years. Now, Ake says that, “fleets have placed orders in a more measured, steady fashion as they became more confident about 2017.” Specifically, trucking concerns express confidence that freight conditions will improve during the third and fourth quarters of 2017.

Sales Strong on an Annualized Basis

Truck sales for 2016 numbered approximately 250,000. However, Class 8 orders during the past six months stand at 262,000 on an annualized basis. CCJ reports that backlogs are expected to increase in April, reflecting the solid pace of orders over recent months.

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