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FTR reports North American Class 8 net orders recovered to 23,100 units in December. The December total orders were back in the same range as September and October, following the previous trend of orders being slightly above expected production levels. December order activity was +139% m/m but still down y/y at -55% from December 2021. Class 8 orders totaled 365,000 units for 2021.
“Fleets need a considerable number of new trucks right now. Industry capacity is extremely tight, resulting in elevated freight rates,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR. “The carriers have freight to haul and funds available for new trucks, but OEMs can’t build enough. Also, the large fleets have had to run vehicles beyond their trade-in cycles and need replacement trucks.”
The December number is positive in the sense that all OEMs entered some orders. This indicates at least some optimism about improved future supply chain performance. OEMs are content in keeping backlogs at current levels and continue to enter orders a portion at a time due to uncertain supply chain conditions.