FTR reports preliminary trailer orders dropped in September, falling 25% m/m to 12,500 units. September trailer orders were -56% y/y and now total 271,000 units for the past 12 months.
Overall, most trailer manufacturers, especially those in the van segments, still must manage production weekly as component shortages continue to hinder production. Even amidst the downward trend seen in orders over the past three months, build levels on a monthly basis remain strong.
Charles Roth, commercial vehicle, analyst, FTR commented “In the retail market, dealerships still can’t keep enough stock to meet demand. At the same time, large carriers haven’t been able to keep up with replacement cycles, which has driven the level of pent-up demand for new replacement units to above-average levels. While net orders have historically followed a seasonal pattern, the past two years have fundamentally changed how OEMs manage their build slots.
“Because there are more unknowns about component shortages and future prices, trailer manufacturers are less likely to book build slots as far in advance as they used to. They are trying to avoid having to push orders back or finish units offline as this has impacted not only their operations but also their customers. The low order volumes could be viewed as OEMs filling in the 2023 build slots when they are confident they have the necessary visibility required to fulfill them.”